At approximately 10:58 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, officers with the Scottsbluff Police department responded to assist Scottsbluff Fire and Valley Ambulance with an investigation. An 18-year-old male, identified as Christopher “CJ” Kohut had been discovered unresponsive in a dorm room at Pioneer Hall at Western Nebraska Community College. Kohut, a native of Gering, was a psychology major in his first semester at WNCC.
Several students and staff were interviewed as part of the investigation. Kohut is believed to have been in a room other than his own throughout the night and into the morning hours when the residents of this dorm room awoke. Kohut was reportedly sleeping at the time.
Kohut was later found to be unresponsive by the same students and they called for help. Kohut was transported to Regional West Medical Center for treatment at 10:49 a.m. Kohut was pronounced dead at the hospital’s Critical Care Unit at 6:17 p.m.
“It is with great sadness that I share that CJ passed away in the early evening surrounded by family and friends,” said Dr. Todd R. Holcomb, president of the College, in an e-mail to students, faculty, and staff Thursday morning. “I, with you – the WNCC Family, mourn the tragic and untimely loss of CJ. My thoughts and prayers extend to his family during this difficult time.”
The Scotts Bluff County Attorney’s Office has been involved with the investigation since its onset and an autopsy has been conducted.
The investigation into Kohut’s death is continuing.