Student collapses in Murray Middle School gym, dies of enlarged heart


A 13-year-old female student died on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at Murray Middle School in St. Augustine after becoming ill and collapsing during basketball try-outs, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office (SJSO).

SJSO identified the teenager as Paris Nykel Byrd. The District Medical Examiner’s Office said her the manner of death was “natural” due to congenital disease, and the cause of death was hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart).

After becoming sick, SJSO said Byrd left the court and rested on nearby bleachers, where it became apparent that her condition had worsened. Staff summoned first responders to the gym, and St. Johns County Fire Rescue transported her to Flagler Hospital, where she was later pronounced deceased.