University of St Thomas freshman falls to her death from Minneapolis building

“My understanding is that there was a Halloween party.”

Edgar Linares
November 01, 2018 - 8:35 pm

Courtesy of St. Thomas University and Edgar Linares

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The University of St. Thomas community is grieving after a student fell to her death from the 10th floor of Minneapolis apartment building.

It happened around 1:00 am, Monday morning at the Bridges apartment at 930 University Avenue SE, near the University of Minnesota campus.

“My understanding is that there was a Halloween party,” said Minneapolis Assistant Fire Chief of Administration, Bryan Tyner. “There is an area there that the residents can use to entertain, or for different functions, grilling and things like that.”

St. Thomas identified the student who died as Joia Simpson, 19, of Bayside, California. She was a freshman who lived on campus at St. Thomas and was interested in business.

Tyner says the area where the Halloween party occurred had a railing and it’s unclear how Simpson went over. He said when crews arrived on scene people were trying to help Simpson, but no one explained how she went over.

“I don’t believe it’s being investigated as a crime at this point. I think, we think it was an accident,” said Tyner.

In the meantime, the St Thomas community, who’s still grieving after another student was found dead two weeks ago, are now mourning Simpson’s death. Father Lawrence Blake is the St. Thomas’ Chaplin and Director of Campus Ministries. He had the duty of calling Simpson’s parents Monday morning.

“Those are always difficult calls to make,” said Father Blake. “They had already heard from the authorities, but I was following up to express our grief and our sense of sorrow.”

The school is now offering counseling to Simpon’s friends, other students and professors who had her in class.  Minneapolis Police will be heading up the investigation into her death it’s unclear if Simpson had been drinking.