Man pronounced dead during psychology class in Valley Life Sciences Building

Sam Albillo/Staff

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A man was pronounced dead in Room 2040 of the Valley Life Science Building, or VLSB, on May 28, according to an email from UCPD spokesperson Sgt. Nicolas Hernandez.

According to the email, a security patrol officer and police officers responded to reports of an unresponsive male at VLSB. The man was pronounced deceased at the scene, and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Bureau is currently investigating the cause of death. UCPD currently has no evidence that the event was a homicide.

According to recently graduated campus alumnus Andres Gomez, he walked into his Psychology of Personality class about 9:30 a.m. and saw a man sitting in a chair in a corner. Gomez said he also noticed a “pretty bad” smell.

Gomez said that two hours passed, and then one of his classmates tapped him on the shoulder to ask for help in moving the man to the ground. 

“She was on the phone with 911. She treated him as unresponsive. She didn’t know that he was dead,” Gomez said. “His eyes were open and his mouth was open.”

According to Gomez, he told the professor, and the police arrived shortly afterward. Gomez said he had enrolled in the class “for fun” after graduating from UC Berkeley and withdrew from the class after this event occurred.

The day after the incident, the professor of the class, Oliver John, sent a message to the class thanking those who noticed the man and decided to call for help. 

The message also explained that police stated that the person was not from the campus community and that they will need to investigate the matter. John encouraged the students in the class to share “experience and feelings with friends or family, as feels right,” recommending psychological services at the Tang Center and announcing that he would make time to follow up with students the next week.

According to the message, John reported the incident to the department chair, professor Ann Kring, and requested to teach the class in a new room.

Sabrina Dong is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @Sabrina_Dong_.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Oliver John recommended in a class message that students “experience and feelings with friends of family, as feels right.” In fact, he recommended that students “experience and feelings with friends or family, as feels right.”