By Samantha Bartholomew
Riverside City College campus police shut down the parking structure for about three and a half hours after an apparent suicide was discovered Feb. 12.
According to Robert Schmidt, RCC public information officer, a staff member found the male around 6:30 a.m. and then alerted police, prompting the shutdown.
Some students began posting to social media around 6:45 a.m. about their confusion about the closure.
RCC updated students on the college’s social media at 8:50 a.m., stating that an “individual medical emergency” had occurred and required the immediate closure of the parking structure.
The college sent out an alert to students just after 9 a.m. stating the college hoped to have the structure opened by noon. The college also said the administration have contacted faculty and asked them to not drop students from the first day of class because of the situation.
As of 12:30 p.m., the identity of the male has not been confirmed, nor has it been confirmed if he was a registered student at RCC.
“We know this has been a difficult first day of class, but we appreciate your patience and understanding to the situation,” RCC tweeted after the structure’s reopening.
In a press release issued by the Riverside County Coroner, the male was identified to be Bryan Perez, 36, of Perris. According to Schmidt, Perez was an RCC student, registered for the spring semester.
The apparent suicide is still being investigated as of Feb. 13.
“Yesterday, as many of you are aware, RCC experienced a tragic loss of life. This leaves us with a feeling of great sadness, coupled with compassion for the student’s family and friends,” RCC Interim President Irving Hendrick said in a statement Feb. 13. “Such an event leaves us searching for explanations which are often impossible to know. While we grieve in different ways, we may, at times, need assistance in dealing with our feelings.”
Student Health and Psychological Services has arranged for crisis counselors to be on campus for those who would like to discuss any feelings they might be having about Bryan Perez’s apparent suicide.
A counseling session for faculty and staff will be held in the School of Nursing Building Room 256 from 1-3 p.m. Counseling sessions have also been arranged for students over the course of two days: Feb. 14 and 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. in the Charles A. Kane Student Services Building Room 205.
“A tragedy like this affects all of us. How we respond illustrates the College we are and the family we have become,” Hendrick said.
This is a developing story.