MILWAUKEE -- A 22-year-old Salem man is dead after jumping from the 10th floor of a stairwell inside a downtown Milwaukee apartment building. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office reports he had taken the drug LSD during a Fourth of July gathering.
A report says 22-year-old Justin Perez fell just over 50 feet.
"To hear that something like this happened is just crazy," said Jacob Rehak, who lives at Majestic Apartments.
Rehak said he's lived at the Majestic Apartments for over two years. He remembers seeing a large police presence when he came home on the Fourth of July.
"I came back here after working at the Summerfest grounds. There were cops lining the streets. There were people crying over there and there was a stretcher down in the lobby," Rehak said.
Like many occupants of the building, Rehak is now learning of the tragedy that took place that night.
"I didn't want to ask people what happened because people were crying," said Rehak.
According to the medical examiner's report, Perez was pronounced dead on the sixth floor landing of the building shortly after 10:30 p.m. The report says he jumped to his own death from the 10th floor of an interior stairwell after taking "three hits" of LSD. The drug was in the form of "pieces of white paper."
The report also says Perez had an adverse reaction and became agitated. The friends he was with tried to calm him down after he started punching a wall. The friends say he left the apartment, walked to the stairwell and jumped over the railing.
"We love our son and his brother and sister. We love him so much and we are just so lost without him," said Traci Perez, Justin Perez's mother.
In a phone interview with FOX6, Perez's mother commented on the loss of her son and what she wants him to be remembered for.
"I hope that people he was with and other people can learn what can be resulted if you make a stupid decision," said Traci. "His beautiful mind. He was so smart. He was so thoughtful, generous and caring. He had an amazing smile. He would light up the room.”
At one point, his mother said there are not enough words to describe how great her son was. And while his death is under investigation, the results won't bring him back.
The family is now making funeral arrangements.