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LSU student’s death may be result of alcohol-fueled hazing, officials say

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Police are investigating a Louisiana State University student's death as the result of a possible fraternity hazing incident, university officials said Thursday.

Maxwell Raymond Gruver, an 18-year-old LSU freshman from Roswell, Georgia, died Thursday after he was taken to a Baton Rouge hospital to be treated for an unspecified "medical emergency" Wednesday night, university spokesman Ernie Ballard said.

CBS Baton Rouge affiliate WAFB-TV cites the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office as saying Gruver was driven to the hospital in a private vehicle from the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house.

An autopsy was planned for Friday morning. LSU President F. King Alexander said police are investigating allegations that alcohol was a factor.

"As we have continually warned over and over again, hazing is dangerous, irresponsible and unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated at LSU. Period," Alexander said.

Phi Delta Theta has been suspended by the university and by its national chapter, according to Alexander.

Alexander said the university had suspended "all Greek activities" pending the outcome of the LSU police investigation of Gruver's death.

One student remarked to WAFB that, "In the middle of football season, that's gonna be detrimental to everything, but if we can't stop hazing, what else is there to do?"

Alexander offered his "deepest sympathies and prayers" to the student's family and friends.

"The death of Maxwell Gruver was tragic and untimely. A young man's life was cut short last night, and we mourn the loss," Alexander said.

Alexander said he wasn't aware of any arrests immediately made in connection with Gruver's death.

In a statement on its website, the national fraternity called the death "heartbreaking" and said it will decide on disciplinary action after the investigation is complete.

"We're committed to investigating this situation thoroughly. The chapter and any individuals who are found to have violated our policies will be held accountable," Phi Delta Theta Executive Vice President and CEO Bob Biggs said.

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