NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 20-year-old New Jersey man was killed in a tragic accident at the Four Seasons Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.
Conner Cummings, of Rockaway, fell to his death after climbing scaffolding outside the hotel on 57th Street and Madison Avenue around 11:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Police said Cummings and his 18-year-old friend were on the roof of the 52-story hotel taking pictures of the skyline.
Investigators said Cummings was climbing the scaffolding trying to make his way back into the building when he slipped, falling nine stories onto a catwalk.
When officers arrived, they found Cummings unconscious and unresponsive. He died at the scene.
His friend was with him right before he fell. The men were not guests at the hotel.
Hotel guests were stunned by the news.
“Very sorry to hear about that, that’s terrible,” one guest said.
“It’s sad to hear that someone fell off the building,” another guest said.
“You get these characters from time to time who don’t recognize their own physical limitations,” another guest said. “This is not the first time someone has tried to climb a building in New York or elsewhere.”
Cummings was a sophomore psychology major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.
His brothers at the Alpha Sigman Phi fraternity paid tribute to him on Facebook saying he had a fiery passion for photography.
“Connor was someone who would stop to help someone without any questions,” a post read. “Our chapter will miss him greatly.”
It’s unclear how the two men gained access to the roof undetected.
The Four Seasons hotel expressed their condolences for the victim’s family in a statement released Thursday morning.
The hotel said the safety and security of guests, patrons and employees is a top priority and said they are cooperating with police as they continue to investigate the incident.