Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:11
A Tabor College student was on life supports at a Wichita hospital Monday as a result of injuries received in an altercation that occurred sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning in McPherson.
Brandon Brown, 26, a junior from Sacramento, Calif., who transferred to Tabor this fall, was transported to McPherson Hospital, then airlifted to Via Christi-St. Francis in critical condition.
A college spokesperson said Monday that Brown had showed indications of improvement Monday morning.
“He is responding to simple commands, but is still on life support on 100 percent oxygen level,” said Beth Riffel, director of communications. “The most serious traumatic injury seems to be in relation to his lungs. He has a long way to go but we are hopeful and optimistic that he can come out of this.”
According to a report from the McPherson Police Department, officers were dispatched to a loud music call in the 400 block of North Carrie in McPherson.
Upon their arrival, officers found Brown lying just off of the street, unconscious and unresponsive. Because the investigation is ongoing, police have not released information about the incident or potential perpetrators.
“What we do know is that three (Tabor) students went to Mac, attended a party, an altercation took place and before it was all said and done Brandon Brown was (air lifted) to St. Francis in Wichita in critical condition,” Riffel said. “We don’t know who was at the party, how many were there, or who those people were.”
The college did not release any details about the other two students.
Administration, faculty and students gathered in the chapel in the Lohrenz Administration Building on the Tabor campus around 9 p.m. Sunday to be informed of the incident.
Tabor President Jules Glanzer addressed the standing-room only gathering, sharing the information that was available.
“He asked the student body to pray and not retaliate, to remember to show love and to respond with love out of respect for Brandon, and to pray for his healing,” Riffel said.
Jake Schenk, director of campus ministries, and Erica Haude, a licensed clinical counselor on the student life staff at the college, also addressed the group.
After about 15 minutes, the group was dismissed to gather in small groups around the campus to pray for Brown. An all-night prayer vigil for Brown was offered in the Historic Church.
“It was a very moving sight to watch,” Riffel said. “All across campus, from academics to athletics, people were coming together to pray for this young man. It was extremely powerful.”
Brown’s family was notified of the incident on Sunday morning and members arrived early Monday to be with him. Glanzer and Jim Paulus, vice president of student life, met with the family at the hospital.