UCSB freshman Patrick Wen Tsu Hsu, who was visiting his parents over the weekend, was found dead in their San Jose residence Saturday.
San Jose police officers were dispatched on report of an explosion at the residence on Tulip Blossom Court at approximately 4:28 p.m. on Feb. 10. The explosion, which was determined to be the cause of death of 18-year-old Hsu, is currently being investigated as a possible homicide, according to San Jose Police Dept. Press Information Officer Rueben Dalaison.
Hsu’s mother was the first to find her son and notify the police, since neighbors did not report the explosion, which was contained in Hsu’s bedroom, Dalaison said.
The type and origin of the bomb has yet to be determined; however, authorities speculate it was mailed through the U.S. Postal Service. There are currently no suspects named in the ongoing investigation, according to Dalaison.
"There is not enough evidence right now that 100 percent identifies [the bomb] as whatever was received in the package. All the evidence that they have collected is still being evaluated, looked at, and they are trying to compare that with statements that we have been receiving from family and friends to collaborate everything," he said. "But there is still nothing to identify specifically what device was used or what mode of transportation was required. When I say mode of transportation, I’m not talking about how the bomb got there, I’m talking about what it was encased in."
Due to the complexities of the case and the possibility the bomb was delivered via the Postal Service, multiple agencies are collaborating in the investigation, Dalaison said.
"The [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms] is assisting, along with the postal inspectors, just to cover different aspects of the case, to assist us in doing it, but we’re pretty much running the investigation," he said.
After speaking with Hsu’s father, Chen Hsu, Chancellor Henry Yang announced that UCSB will fly its flags at half-staff today in Hsu’s honor.
"The untimely death of our student, Patrick Hsu, has been deeply felt with extreme sadness by the entire UCSB campus community. We mourn the tragic and senseless loss of this young life," Yang said. "Patrick was a well-liked and hard-working student who brought joy to his peers. Patrick’s father told me that his son was excited to be a UCSB student, was enjoying his studies here and that he had a bright future ahead of him."
Hsu, a pre-economics major, lived in Francisco Torres Residence Hall. His death has noticeably affected his fellow students and dormmates, said Jessica Atwell, a freshman biology major and FT resident.
"A lot of people cared and loved him. You can tell by looking around at the people here at FT — the whole atmosphere is sad. No one expects this type of thing to happen in your first year of college; it is just really horrible," she said. "He was one of my favorite people I’ve met in college. He was just an easygoing guy, he wanted to surf and snowboard, he was the type of guy who just wanted to have fun."
Junior business economics major Chad Nassif, who worked with Hsu in UCSB’s Ski and Snowboard Club, said he was well-liked because of his positive attitude.
"He was a 100-percent good guy all the way through. I saw him at least three times a week and he was always smiling and laughing," Nassif said. "He had a great laugh; you could recognize it across the campus when you heard it."
Hsu’s extroverted personality made him many friends in the short time he was at UCSB, junior history major Matt Hunstock said.
"He was very outgoing; he was one of the most popular guys living in FT, where he went by the nickname of Trick," Hunstock said. "Of all people, he was the most happy-go-lucky person I’ve met. That is why this is so weird to everybody."
Atwell said his sense of humor and ability to make others feel at ease will not be forgotten.
"I think everybody who was friends with Trick knew he was an incredibly funny person," she said. "He would make people laugh. All my memories of Trick are of him doing or saying something funny. He was always in a good mood and willing to cheer you up when you needed it. He was a genuine friend."
A memorial service is currently being planned, but specifics have yet to be finalized, Hunstock said.
"We are going to hold a memorial service for him, maybe through the Ski and Snowboard Club or perhaps with his parents," he said. "It hasn’t been organized yet."