Early Thursday morning, University of Vermont Police responded to a noise complaint at McCann Hall. Loud music and several voices were coming from freshman Mack Sullivan's third-floor dorm room. When police confronted the 18-year-old, they say he did the unexpected.
"Over the years, we've certainly had incidents where people have fallen. Rarely do we have people jump out of a third-floor window," UVM Police Capt. Tim Bilodeau said.
Witnesses tell us Sullivan went out head-first. Police would not comment on that or say how long they were talking to Sullivan or what happened moments before he jumped. They did day they discovered booze and drugs in the student's room, but nothing they haven't seen on campus before.
"I came outside, there was a cruiser over here and a cruiser over here, and there were two guys standing right below where they thought the kid might have landed," said Brian Melanson, a freshman at UVM.
We're told RAs in the dorm tried unsuccessfully to address the noise complaints several times before calling campus police.
"It hit hard in the beginning and it's still hitting hard," Sandi Omanovic said.
Freshman Sandi Omanovic has known Sullivan since third-grade and describes him as friendly and respectful. He says the reality of what's happened is still sinking in. Sullivan is hospitalized in fair condition. Friends say he suffered a broken neck, fractured ribs and possible brain damage.
"I understand that Mack made a mistake, did something he probably shouldn't, but I mean everyone here cares for the guy and everyone is hoping he gets better," Omanovic said.
His concern is shared by many on campus. They worry Sullivan's serious injuries will prevent him from returning to school.
"He's sweet and he's always really supportive," said Ellie Coleman, a freshman. "He'll always help you out and we're really going to miss him if he doesn't come back."
UVM police expect their investigation to wrap up next week and any potential criminal charges will be filed then.
The university says counseling is available to students who need it. Several witnessed the jump. They say they're just praying for Sullivan's speedy recovery.
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