A freshman at Santa Monica High School died Monday from major brain trauma after jumping from a third floor balcony after trying the drug LSD.
Samohi’s principal Dr. Antonio Shelton confirmed the death of 15-year-old Andre Zuczek Monday in a letter provided to parents. Zuczek is the third student at Samohi who has died this year.
“Andre and a few friends got together on Saturday and tried the drug, acid. Things went badly very quickly as Andre had what is thought to be a “bad trip,” and fell from a third floor apartment,” the family said in a statement included in the letter.
Zuczek’s mother wanted the community to know what happened so other parents may be spared from losing a child to drug use.
“We encourage you to talk about Andre with your kids, friends, your family and whoever else provides you support. In sharing, please be aware that hearsay and gossip can be very hurtful and can add more sorrow to the grief we are all feeling at this time,” the statement said.
Police officers received a radio call for suspicious activity at the Belmar Apartments on 1725 Ocean Avenue around 3:00 p.m. Saturday, March 18. A caller said several teenagers were acting erratically and were possibly on drugs, according to Lt. Saul Rodriguez with the Santa Monica Police Department.
When officers got to the building, they noticed Zuczek standing on the balcony of an upper level unit. Within moments, the teenager jumped off the balcony and fell to the ground level, according to Rodriguez.
Zuczek was unresponsive upon impact. Santa Monica Fire Department paramedics treated the teen and took him to the hospital where he remained in critical condition until dying Monday.
Paramedics treated a second teenager at the scene for minor injuries.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends right now,” Gail Pinsker, SMMUSD public relations officer said.
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has made counselors available at Samohi Monday for any students and staff in need of support.