Update: The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office has released the identity of the student who died and a preliminary cause of death.
The Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that 13-year-old Paris Nykel Byrd became ill while participating in basketball tryouts at Murray Middle School. After leaving the court and resting on nearby bleachers, the Sheriff’s Office report said “it was apparent the young girl’s condition had worsened and staff summoned first responders to the gymnasium.”
St. Johns County Fire Rescue transported the Byrd to Flagler Hospital, where she was later pronounced deceased.
The District Medical Examiners Office’s performed an autopsy Wednesday and released its preliminary findings. The Medical Examiner ruled the manner of death as “Natural” due to congenital disease and the cause of death as hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart).
A Murray Middle School student died Tuesday afternoon after collapsing in the gymnasium after school.
St. Johns County sheriff’s deputies and Fire Rescue personnel responded to the middle school shortly after 3 p.m. to a report of a “young teenage female student” who had collapsed and required medical attention, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
“The student went into medical distress,” and was taken to Flagler Hospital where she was pronounced dead, the release said.
St. Johns County School District spokeswoman Christina Langston said the girl was taking part in after-school basketball tryouts when she collapsed.
In an evening statement, school principal Tom Schwarm told students, parents and staff that he and district officials would have people in place to help them deal with the sad news.
“We will have our crisis team, which includes grief counselors, district staff, school counselors and social workers, on site tomorrow and for as long as needed, to support the entire school community,” the statement said.
“We will also have materials posted on our website to assist you in speaking to your children about this tragedy,” he told parents.
As of press time, the student’s name and age had not been released.
The Sheriff’s Office said investigators remained at the school into the evening and that a cause of death would be determined by the District 23 Medical Examiner’s Office.