DALLAS -- Residents of a downtown Dallas loft complex are shaken after two people fell to their deaths from windows in the building within 10 days of each other.
Dallas police think both deaths last month were accidents. They also think both men who fell had been drinking for hours before their deaths.
"It’s a tragic coincidence that these two accidental deaths occurred so close together," said homicide Lt. David Pughes tells The Dallas Morning News.
Both men fell from the Mosaic apartment building, the largest downtown loft complex. The 1950s-era building was converted to loft apartments in 2007.
City officials say there are no codes restricting windows from opening in high-rise residential buildings.
The windows in the units slide open several feet in opposite directions. The window ledge is a few feet off the ground, and, in both units from where the men fell, there was a rail on top of that.
On Oct. 14, 35-year-old Jeremy King of California fell out of a window at his friend’s 11th-floor apartment and onto a ninth-floor balcony. He was declared dead two days later.
The friend told police they were in the apartment drinking when King looked out the window and fell.
Stephen Cox was awakened early that morning by the sound of King hitting the balcony of the apartment above him.
"It was very emotional," Cox said. "It’s certainly something that you aren’t thinking that would possibly ever happen. ... It is kind of a cloud of darkness."
Ten days later, another guest of a resident, 24-year-old John Michael Byrd, of Houston, fell 27 stories to his death. In a photo taken just before he fell, he was seen lying on an outer ledge of a window, a glass of alcohol in his hand. In other photos, Byrd and a friend are seen from behind sitting on the outer ledge, their feet dangling over the side.
Police say that Byrd slipped at some point.
"When he was out there, he did cry for help, and we do know that he was at that point hanging from the ledge," homicide Sgt. Joe Garza said. "And they were unable to bring him up, and he slipped and fell."
The apartments are managed by Houston-based Kaplan Management Co. A request for comment from the main office by the newspaper was referred to the Mosaic. Officials there did not immediately return a message left Monday by The Associated Press.
In an Oct. 28 letter to residents, a Kaplan official said the company was "deeply saddened by the recent deaths at the property" and urged residents to be "mindful of your own safety and the safety of your guests."