A University of St. Thomas student fell to her death from the 10th floor of an apartment building near the University of Minnesota during a Halloween party early Thursday, officials said.
Authorities were called to the Bridges Apartments at 930 University Avenue SE. just before 1 a.m. They found a woman who had fallen from the 10th floor, said Fire Department Assistant Chief Bryan Tyner.
Emergency dispatch audio revealed that she fell over two side-by-side railings during a Halloween party, Tyner said.
The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul identified the woman as first-year student Joia Simpson, of Bayside, Calif., who was a visitor to the apartment.
Tyner said the circumstances leading to Simpson’s death remain under investigation.
In a heavily redacted incident report, Minneapolis police said they spoke to at least seven young people between the ages of 18 and 20 after the fall.
The report did list Simpson's age as 19 and said she died at the scene.
The Rev. Larry Blake, chaplain and director of St. Thomas’ Campus Ministry, said he has spoken with Simpson’s friends and that the campus is providing support for them.
“This is a difficult time for them,” Blake said. “They are devastated.”
A statement from St. Thomas said Simpson was interested in studying business and that her family “wants people to remember her beautiful smile.”
Blake said no vigils or celebrations have been scheduled yet.
“I am grateful we have such a supportive community here,” Blake said. “Students caring about one another, faculty and staff who care for the students, but also one another as colleagues.”
Simpson’s death came nearly two weeks after fellow student Katherine “Katie” Mullen, a sophomore from Andover, was found dead in her dorm room.
St. Paul police have said they do not consider Mullen’s death suspicious.