Students, parents react to GSU student's death - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Students, parents react to GSU student's death

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) -

The death of an 18-year-old Georgia Southern freshman shocked many of the students who walked toward classes on Friday.

Michael Gatto was found unconscious outside Rude Rudy's, a bar near the campus, early Thursday morning. He was rushed to a hospital but died hours later.

"It's a shame, he was a freshman like me," said Joe Guilbuad.

Statesboro Police arrested Grant Spencer, a 20-year-old student who worked at the bar. He was charged with assault prior to Gatto's death. New charges are expected.

Mike Jurick's son was Gatto's roommate since the pair arrived in Statesboro two weeks ago.

"As parents, you bring them to college and want them to live the college experience," the father said. "But to have this two weeks in, it's beyond words."

Statesboro's mayor said that experience should include some level of safety.

"For these people who come here to live and to learn, their safety is of course is our utmost concern," stated Mayor Jan Moore.

Spencer remains in the Bulloch County Jail awaiting a first appearance hearing and updated charges.

University president Dr. Brooks Keel issued a statement on Friday: 

"The entire Georgia Southern University family is deeply saddened by this tragic event and our thoughts and prayers are with Michael's family and friends during this very difficult time. My heart is broken by this tragedy that we now face. I call on the Eagle Nation to rally together in support of Michael Gatto, the Gatto family and friends and each other."

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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