Family of student found dead at SDSU talks about their "golden c - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Family of student found dead at SDSU talks about their "golden child"

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The family of an SDSU student who was found dead inside a fraternity house spoke exclusively to News 8.

On Wednesday, SDSU suspended the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity until the university completes an investigation into the death of 20-year-old Barzeen Barzanji, who was found dead last Friday morning.

No official cause of death has been released, but now we're learning more about Barzanji, who was president of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

News 8 sat down with Barzanji's family and closest friends, who were all dressed in black, and say they want to set the record straight.

"He was born as a leader, and he died as a leader," mourner Gala said.

Barzeen's family doesn't know if there was a party at SAE the night before Barzanji's death, but they do know Barzeen spent the night at the frat house because his best friend is a member there, not because he was drinking.

"Completely wrong, I mean, anybody who knew him could have told you otherwise," his brother Lawand said.

In years past, SDSU has been considered by some to be a party school, but the Barzanji family says Barzeen was not involved in drugs or alcohol.

"Straight arrow… I was always so envious of him, you know, he would stay up to like, 3 or 4 o'clock just studying," his sister Lawen said.

Barzeen, who was on the dean's list and wanted to become a lawyer, was known for his endless energy. His brother says the day before he died, Barzeen just wasn't himself.

"He said 'I'm really tired, I'm really, really tired' and he said 'My back hurts,' he just kept saying his back hurts," Lawand said.

School officials say Phi Kappa Theta has been placed on suspension for allegations of violating campus policies.

"It was just a natural death, it was god's will. You can't explain certain things in life, you just have to accept it," Lawen said.

Barzeen was born in San Diego and was a stand-out athlete at Santee's West Hills High School. Eight-hundred people showed up to his funeral. His family is confident toxicology tests from the medical examiner's officer will eventually clear his name.

"My brother is gone, you know, that's all I feel. That's the only sadness I feel, you know? Vindication -- that stuff doesn't matter to me. Believe me, that stuff is not in my mind whatsoever," Lawand said.

According to the medical examiner, the cause of death has not been determined, those toxicology results should be released in a few weeks.

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