Cause of Lee University student's death unknown - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATED: Cause of Lee University student's death unknown

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(WRCB) -  John Hoffman says he wouldn't know Lee University student Caleb Tanner Hixson, 22, by face.

But then, most neighbors aren't very nosy at Chattanooga's Riverview Grande Apartments.

And the neighbors 'Tanner' was visiting Wednesday night, aren't very noisy.

"They'd often have people over," Hoffman says. "Gathering outside, hanging out with friends, stuff like that."

"They don't interact very much."

So he, and fellow resident Joe Lazarus likely slept through the emergency run, that brought out police and first responders just before 3 o'clock in the morning.

"I hadn't heard any complaints," Lazarus says.

Based on what Hixson's friends told them, Chattanooga police believe he had consumed alcohol and an energy drink after he and his friends drove over to Hamilton Place Mall from Riceville just before 7 o'clock Wednesday night.

The group proceeded to a friend's apartment at Riverview Grande between 9:30 and 10PM, according to a police news release.

"The victim possibly took some type of medication or drug and had a reaction, and was acting bizarre," the release reads.

"At one point, he went into a bedroom and started wrecking the room and cut himself on glass."

The release states that Hixson's friends had to restrain him, and that one called police and EMS.

He was conscious when the crew put him in the ambulance, but 'coded' on the way to Erlanger Medical Center.

He was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

"It's unfortunate, rather tragic," Lazarus says."I wish people, young people, would find something more productive to consume."

By 11am Tuesday, police would allow Hixson's friends to return to the apartment. They waited silently, without revealing their names.

By noon, numerous friends had turned Hixson's Facebook page into a memorial wall.

"I really just don't know what to do, think, say or feel," Maryann Sorrells writes.

Megan Jade Crisp adds, "My heart breaks for the Hixson family. Tanner was an amazing guy. Such a happy soul."

Dakota Sisson writes, "We looked at each other as brothers and that's what we will always be. My best friend, my brother I love you."

Sisson tells Channel 3 that Hixson was a talented musician who could play any number of instruments, and enjoyed almost all types of music.

Lee University confirms Hixson recently had transferred into its programs from Cleveland State Community College. He was studying to be an athletic trainer.

Toxicology results are expected to take several weeks, police say. The Hamilton County Medical Examiner is expected to perform an autopsy.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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