On One Hand

April 16, 2006

Friends of Gomez Speak Out

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 5:36 pm
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Published in The Campus Press

Friends of Gomez speak out
Matt Pizzuti
Staff Writer

Friends of Jesse Gomez, the student found dead in his room in Willard Hall on Sunday, April 9, described him as friendly and intelligent and criticized rumors that have spread across campus since his death.

Campus police officers and paramedics found Gomez, listed with the university as a sophomore engineering open option major, in his dorm last weekend after a 911 call from Gomez’s roommate, sources said. According to a coroner’s press release, an autopsy found no trauma and additional laboratory tests to determine the cause of death may take several weeks.

Meghan O’Connor, a freshman political science major, attended Bear Creek High School with Gomez in Lakewood. She said Gomez was a member of the school’s wrestling and tennis teams. He also was a member of the National Honor Society and took several Advanced Placement classes, she noted.

“He was one of the smartest guys I knew,” O’Connor said. “He was an asset to the CU community and his high school community.”

She said rumors surrounding Gomez’s death distract people from the truth about his character.

“I feel like the stuff going on with the painkillers and the alcohol are really overshadowing that,” O’Connor said. “All of this is taking away from what a great kid he was.”

Sophomore open option major Joanna Gomez, not related to Jesse Gomez, said those who suggest Gomez’s death was substance related don’t know him well enough to judge him.

“He wasn’t stupid and didn’t make stupid decisions, and to hear people around campus talk like that kind of hurts,” she said.

Joanna Gomez said she met him at CU through a leadership class. She described him as friendly and kind.

Jesse Gomez “was a sweet, nice guy,” she said. “He was quiet, but when it was something important, he said it.”

She went on to describe the depth of his knowledge. “I could ask him a question about anything, and he knew the answer,” she said.

Freshman psychology major Nicole Blaisdell also spoke kindly of her friend. Like the others, she disagreed with the way Gomez has been connected with alcohol since his death.

“It’s hard to see the news portray Jesse as a crazy party kid based on very few events. … He should be known for all the amazing things he did and all the positive effects he had on people,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Blaisdell said she preferred to comment by e-mail because the subject was too emotional for her to speak in person.

She described Gomez as a happy person who wanted to share his joy with others, calling his smile “contagious.”

“One thing that has never changed about Jesse … is his amazing smile. He was always smiling and always trying to make others smile, too,” she said.

Blaisdell said she and Gomez had been friends since the beginning of elementary school. “We grew up in the same neighborhood,” she added.

Blaisdell said Gomez got good grades in school and that his death showed that bad things can happen to good people.

“Everyone makes mistakes, and unfortunately, Jesse’s came at a high price,” she said.

All of Gomez’s friends said they were seriously impacted by the loss. Joanna Gomez said his death has opened her eyes to the value and shortness of life.

“I never in a million years thought I’d wake up in the morning and Jesse’s dead,” she said. “Everybody he met — he impacted their lives because he was just that type of person.”

O’Connor said Gomez’s absence will be noted by many who knew him.

“He was just a fun guy and nice to everyone,” she said. “A lot of people are going to miss him.”

Blaisdell summed up the feelings of loss that all of Gomez’s friends expressed.

“Jesse Gomez is someone I hold close to my heart. I always will,” she said. “I will miss him every single day, think about him every single day. He will be missed and remembered for the wonderful guy he was.”



  1. very good article. close to tears, and i barely knew the kid.

    Comment by hurley_chik — April 19, 2006 @ 5:20 pm | Reply

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