Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent

BOSTON (CBS) – It was a sad day Monday on the Emerson College campus in Boston following the death of a film student on Sunday.

 The 21-year-old college junior died doing what he loved most.

You can still see the torn gutter where 21-year-old Justin Amorratanasuchad accidentally stepped off a five story roof and fell to his death in Boston’s South End.

Emerson Film student Tyler Lopackin knew him well.

“He was a good kid. I heard he was filming with a steady cam and was backing up on a roof and just was not looking. He was looking at his subjects and fell off,” said Lopackin.

WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve reports.

Photographs show Boston Police on the scene shortly after the Sunday morning accident. Students say he was working on a project for school.

Boston Police will be reviewing the video he was shooting at the time.

Emerson College Professor Fredericka King lives next door.

“I heard Justin was very talented and we certainly love having students who have potential. I am sure he would have done something amazing,” said King.

One of Justin’s student films features a skate boarder, views of the city of Boston and a dramatic perspective from the top of a building.

His family lives in Seattle, Washington. His only brother Jessie is devastated by the loss.

“I feel really empty,” said Jessie.  “I feel a really big part of me is gone.”

“Justin’s whole attitude toward life is really going to be missed. He stuck with his work and he was really passionate. He was a really smart kid.”

Because of the Patriots Day holiday there were no classes for Emerson college students today. However, a spokesperson for the school said they would be making counselors available to any student who wanted to talk to one.

Brianna Loewen is an Emerson student.

“It can happen to anyone here. It is the kind of situation film students are always in and other students get involved as well. So it is really is worrisome,” said Loewen.

Justin won an Emmy award for his film work while still in high school. Friends say they are certain he would have had a very bright future.

Boston Police originally sent homicide investigators to the scene on Columbus Avenue but today they tell WBZ the case is now being handled by detectives as a tragic accident.

Comments (2)
  1. Tim from NYC says:

    These student film sets need to be safer and they need to be properly trained using the equipment. Where was his spotter? Were there any experienced people on set supervising? They NEED to be properly trained! Just like the film student operating the condor and electrocuted himself on a power line!
    So tragic and TOTALLY avoidable. I am a Steadicam operator and wouldn’t even think about going on a roof with the rig without a proper spotter and safety!

  2. howie says:

    Hindsight is always 20-20 isn’t it?

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