UMass community in shock after two student deaths

Counseling resources is available to all students

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The UMass campus has tens of thousands of students, it’s basically a small city, but UMass Spokesman Ed Blaguszewski told 22News he can’t remember the last time two students died so close together.

In a period of 24 hours, UMass students Aaron Beltzer and Johnathan Shaw were both found dead.

It’s up to a state medical examiner to determine what caused their deaths, but the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office told 22News the deaths do not appear connected, and neither one appears to be a crime.

UMass Sophomore Samnord Stephens said he has a heavy heart; “Definitely, I think there are going to be some memorial services coming up. They’re going to be posting on Facebook and everywhere. Overall, it’s just a sad thing for the whole community and I’m sure everyone is trying to come together.”

Shaw was a senior math major, and Beltzer was a graduate student in the Geosciences Department.

UMass is making counseling resources available to all students who may need someone to talk to.

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