The death of 24-year old UC Berkeley student Alex Lowenstein last week may have been accidental rather than a suicide, Berkeley police announced Thursday.
Lowenstein, an Iraqi vet who lived in the Delta Upsilon fraternity house at 2425 Warring St., was found dead with a gunshot to the head around 3:11 am on Sept. 24th.
“A preliminary investigation by officers and evidence at the scene led the officers to the conclusion that the young man was the victim of a suicide,” according to a Berkeley police department press release. “There were no outward indications and/or evidence of foul play.”
However, further investigation has raised some questions about those initial findings, according to the press release.
“The death investigation is now in the hands of the Alameda County Coroner’s Office. BPD must wait for the Coroner’s report to determine the actual method of death. This process takes some time. There is a possibility that the death was accidental. This is an active, ongoing investigation.”
The Daily Californian reports that many of Lowenstein’s friends did not believe the initial ruling that he committed suicide.
“For the past week, friends, family members and members of the campus Greek community have questioned the classification of the death as a suicide,” according to a Daily Cal article. “Multiple friends said Lowenstein, an Iraq War veteran, “always had a smile on his face,” while others said he would have been incapable of the act intentionally.”
Questions still remain about another unrelated student death. Nicholas Bailey, a Sacramento State student, died July 4th, two days after he fell off a balcony on Haste Street. UC Police did not initially treat his death as suspicious, but are now reexamining it.