Early Sunday morning Brooklyn musician Jerry Fuchs died after falling down an elevator shaft at 338 Berry Street in Williamsburg. As we mentioned yesterday, Fuchs was attending a benefit party there thrown by the Uniform Project, and it was around 12:30 a.m. that the manual freight elevator in the converted loft building became stuck between the 4th and 5th floors. A friend jumped off to safety, but when Fuchs followed his clothing became stuck and he fell down the shaft.
Fuchs's roommate, from the band Holy Ghost!, told the NY Times that when he looked into the shaft he saw someone lying face down, adding, “We flipped him over and it was Jerry. When we found him he was not able to talk.” He wrote on the band's blog: "We held him and talked to him and went with him to Belvue hospital. Unfortunately, the doctors were unable to resuscitate him and he was pronounced dead at 3:33 am." He goes on to post their last text exchange from that night, noting that Fuchs was "relentlessly polite in a world in which manners have largely been replaced by irony and sarcasm."
Fuchs was a Williamsburg resident, and was known by many for his talent as a drummer; James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem told the Times that “He was one of the only people we all knew who was literally great at what he did. And he was incredibly generous with his talent.” Indeed, Fuchs was in many bands throughout his 34 years, including !!!, Turing Machine, The Juan Maclean, and most recently Maserati.
The Department of Buildings is investigating... but a quick look at the property overview shows plenty of violations, including 10 elevator violations, the most recent from October 30th. We've contacted the DoB to clarify what these past violations mean, and why they were "dismissed."
Meanwhile, the Daily News reports that there was an elevator operator, but when Fuchs arrived, he was nowhere in sight. A friend at the party who received a phone call from Fuchs when the elevator got stuck, says, "Jerry had no idea that there was supposed to be an operator."