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Students calling for answers after classmate dies from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning at Evergreen State College

Jonathan Rodriguez died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the college.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A vigil for a college student killed in an apparent carbon monoxide poisoning incident gave students a chance to grieve Wednesday. Some came to vent.

“Who’s getting fired?" yelled one student out of the group of about 200 at The Evergreen State College’s Red Square. "Who is being held responsible?"

Student Jonathan Rodriguez, 21, died Monday night from what campus officials said were “symptoms consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Rodriguez and two other students were found in a campus modular home.

The other students were taken to Olympia hospitals.

According to the Washington State Patrol (WSP), one of the students was released from the hospital Wednesday. A spokesperson said the other student is still recovering at a hospital.

The spokesperson said WSP brought in forensic engineers specializing in carbon monoxide investigations from an out-of-state firm.

Campus officials said Monday that a contractor working in an area of housing called the Modular Apartments "responded to carbon monoxide alarms."

“This is a tragedy, and we grieve for our students and families,” Evergreen President John Carmichael said in a release. “The safety of students, staff and faculty remain Evergreen’s top priority.”

Students attending the rally said they were concerned for their safety, yelling at administrators if it was safe to sleep in campus housing.

Others wanted to let the crowd know the kind of person Rodriguez was.

Friends described him as an artist, someone who was funny and wanted to design video games.

“I really miss him,” said one student, “I wish we had more time.”

Faculty member Paul Pham described Rodriguez as a leader.

"He always sat in the front," Pham said. "He rarely got discouraged."


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