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UPDATE: 19-year-old man dies after fall from building

A manager at University Hospital said Thursday night 19-year-old Jack Lipp died from his wounds.

Columbia police said Jack Lipp, of Illinois, fell from a house on S. 4th Street during a party just after 2 a.m. on December 13.

They told ABC 17 News many people left so they were only able to get limited witness statements about how Lipp fell.

ABC 17 News found the house where it happened and talked to the men who live there and were at the party.

Several people said Lipp went out to the balcony to go to the bathroom. They think he might have leaned on the balcony railing, which broke off under his weight, causing him to fall.

According to the tenants, the balcony railing was already broken at the time and only being held up by two 2x4s.

Mike Novak was home at the time and he said he and his roommates keep the door leading to the balcony locked at all times because it is unsafe.

“We don’t allow anyone out there but he must have unbolted the locks,” Novak said.

Novak knows how unsafe this balcony is all too well. He said he almost fell off of it earlier this year.

“We had the landlord replace a portion of the balcony but he really only put two 2x4s there so it still wasn’t safe,” he said.

Novak said he was in his room when he heard a girl screaming that a boy had fallen and was bleeding. He rushed outside to find Lipp on the ground.

“What’s your first thought when you walk outside and see a kid on the ground? It’s scary! I just wanted him to be ok,” Novak said.

He said he called 911 and kicked everyone out to clear a path for the ambulance, which is why there weren’t many people there when the police got there.

Novak said this fall was an accident that should not have happened.

“It [balcony] wasn’t correctly fixed and that’s why this happened in the first place,” he said.

Lipp was a Mizzou student, but none of the boys living at the house knew him.

The landlord has since bolted the door to the balcony permanently.

(Editor’s note, 10:51 p.m., 12/25: The story has been updated due to Lipp’s death.)

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