Remembering a great friend and student

SUMMIT, NJ — It was a sad day for Summit residents as they heard the tragic news. On the evening of Thursday, May 5, an 18-year-old Summit resident took his life in the parking lot of St. Teresa of Avila Church. He was reported dead by a gunshot wound after driving a family car to the location.

“When police units arrived on the scene, they discovered an unresponsive 18-year-old Summit man, with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, lying in the rear passenger compartment of a small SUV,” said Summit Police Department Capt. Steven Zagorski in a recent press release. “He was pronounced dead on the scene.”

The apparent suicide is still under active investigation by the Summit Police Department and Union County Medical Examiner’s Office. The details surrounding his death have yet to be uncovered and released. The loved one’s family and friends require sensitivity and some privacy while coming to terms with the incident. Although the importance of addressing the community’s grief cannot be forsaken.

“I have some very sad news to share with you” said Peter J. Caldwell Headmaster of Morristown Beard High School in a press release. “Earlier this evening we were informed that senior Matt Giaquinto has died. We are stunned with grief at this tragic news, but remain ready to serve the needs of the MBS community during this difficult time. We will suspend all classes and school activities tomorrow, Friday, May 6 (there will be no bus service), but we will open the campus for any member of the community who wishes to be here. We will have counselors on hand throughout the day, and will share all relevant information with the community as soon as it is available. We are asking all MBS faculty and staff to be at school by 8 a.m. for a meeting in Kirby Chapel.”

Superintendent of Summit Schools June Chang sent an email to parents of students to inform them of the heartbreaking news. She assured parents that counselors would be available to serve the needs of students. She also recognized that although Giaquinto didn’t attend Summit High School, his life touched many people in the community.

“Although Giaquinto wasn’t a student at Summit High School, we as a community, feel this loss and our thoughts are with his family and friends.” said Chang in a press release.
“It’s a sad day for the Summit community,” said Summit Information Officer Amy Cairns. “There are still so many questions up in the air surrounding the details of the incident.”

Giaquinto was a senior at Morristown Beard High School where he played on the school’s basketball team. Many of his classmates and friends expressed their condolences on Twitter after hearing about the young man’s death. They expressed feelings of loss and grief for the life of a great friend and student.