An Ohio county coroner will be reopening and reviewing the hanging death case of 8-year-old Gabriel Taye after the boy’s school released troubling video allegedly showing the boy unconscious on the school’s bathroom floor. Taye’s death was ruled a suicide back in January, which is when the 8-year-old allegedly took his own life just two days after he was allegedly rendered unconscious in a bullying incident at his school.
It was an incident that wasn’t reported to Gabriel Taye’s mother, Cornelia Reynolds. She claims that she was told that her son had fainted. As CNN reports, administrators from Carson Elementary School claim that their nurse followed proper protocol. In a statement, they claim that she simply called Gabriel’s mother to come pick him up. According to a Cincinnati Public Schools statement, the nurse followed the established rules.
“The school nurse checked Gabriel’s vital signs, which were normal. She also contacted Gabriel’s mother and asked her to pick him up and take him to the hospital to be checked out.”
In a the newly-released video that prompted the coroner to reopen the Gabriel Taye case, the 8-year-old can be seen walking into his school bathroom. As ABC News reports, immediately after he walks into the bathroom, Gabriel appears to shake hands with a fellow student before falling to the ground and remaining there, unmoving, for almost eight minutes.
As 8-year-old Gabriel Taye remains still on the floor for minutes on end, several students can be seen entering and exiting the bathroom, some even nudging him with their feet and kneeling to get a better look. Eventually, three adult can be seen entering the bathroom and taking care of Gabriel, who walks out of view of the camera of his own volition. It is now believed that Gabriel hit his head when he fell, although it’s unclear whether he struck it on the floor or the wall of the bathroom.
Cornelia Reynolds says that she took her son home from the nurse’s office, and when he began vomiting later in the evening, she took him to the hospital for treatment — she was unaware that he had hit his head — and that he went to school the next day, January 26. Just two days later, 8-year-old Gabriel Taye was found dead by his mother; the child had apparently hanged himself in a closet using a necktie.
— Handyrapper (@handyrapper) May 12, 2017
In the wake of Gabriel’s suicide, the school’s surveillance video was reviewed by a Cincinnati homicide detective, who emailed the school to advise them that he believed he had witnessed bullying in the video. According to the detective, he believed some of what he saw could be considered “criminal assault.”
“I wanted to bring to your attention some things I saw in the video. I saw some concerning events in the video and I don’t even have a child at the school. I witnessed behavior that in my belief is bullying and could even rise to the level of criminal assault but due to the apparent age of the children involved, my current opinion is it could be better dealt with appropriately at the school level.”
@BlackToLive Oh my word. I'm so tired of all the ugliness in this world. Of innocence taken…. of lives diminished…. So very tired….
— Spank You Silly ☮️ (@SpankYouSilly) May 12, 2017
— Kelley Jean (@Kelebration) May 13, 2017
@Ais0fspayde This may be the saddest thing I've seen in years. God bless your sweet soul, Gabriel. ????
— Catherine Margaronis (@CMargaronis) May 13, 2017
DON'T BE A BULLY. For the 8 year old boy who recently killed himself, #Gabrieltaye. ????????
— Josué. (@josuejrsalazar) May 13, 2017
We must do more as a society to stand up for the vulnerable and those that are being bullied. This should NEVER have happened #GabrielTaye
— Nabil Sheikh (@nabilitoz) May 13, 2017
Apparently, the coroner handling the case of the Taye hanging concurs with the detective about the potential of criminal assault occurring in the days leading up to the 8-year-old’s death, as she opted to reopen the case despite previously ruling it a suicide. According to Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco, she struggled with the idea that an 8-year-old could even contemplate or understand the concept of suicide, and she asked that the case be investigated fully.
“It was very hard for me to believe that an 8-year-old would even know what it means to commit suicide and so I asked Cincinnati police to treat this as a homicide until proven otherwise and investigate it fully.”
Aww this baby boy gave up his life because of sum bully. STOP BULLYING. Gabriel Taye 8y/o hunt himself such a beautiful baby boy.???? pic.twitter.com/4pZhyBhS6Q
— jazlyn???? (@drxnk_jazlyn) February 20, 2017
As for the school, they claim that they opted to release the surveillance tape in the interest of transparency.
Gabriel Taye’s mother, Cornelia Reynolds, has retained attorney Jennifer Branch in the aftermath of her son’s tragic death. According to Branch, neither she nor Gabriel’s mother were aware of the bathroom incident until very recently, and they are both concerned that what happened on the tape contributed to the little boy’s death.
“I am my son’s voice and it will be heard. As Gabe’s mother, it is my obligation to make sure that this will never happen again.”
— caroline (@carolinenguyen) May 12, 2017
Following her son’s death, Reynolds also released a statement.
“Gabriel was a shining light to everyone who knew and loved him. We miss him desperately and suffer everyday. His life was not only stolen from him, but from those of us who expected to watch him grow up and enjoy life. If I could, I would give anything to have him back.”
So far, no criminal charges have been filed in connection with the death of 8-year-old Gabriel Taye. However, the coroner and other investigators working the case are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to getting to the bottom of his mother’s tragic loss and what may have happened leading up to his apparent suicide.
[Featured Image by Julie Ann Rachford/GoFundMe]