Friends remember Gogins

Cook County, Ill., freshman Benjamin Gogins poses for a photo with Louisville freshman Auh’Donya Kelly. Gogins passed away Dec. 18 from injuries resulting from falling from the 6th floor of PFT Saturday, Dec. 15. 

Taylor Harrison

Benjamin Gogins, known as BJ to his friends, was the kind of person who always had a smile on his face and knew how to make other people smile too.

Gogins, a Cook County, Ill., freshman, died Tuesday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after — according to a WKU press release — jumping from Pearce Ford Tower on Dec. 15.

Louisville freshman Auh’Donya “Yaya” Kelly said Gogins was her best friend. She said he was respectful and had a warm heart.

“He always knew how to make somebody’s day,” Kelly said.

Kelly said she has many memories with Gogins, but one in particular she remembers is “first learning how to do our best friend handshake.”

Kelly met Gogins at the beginning of the school year, when they both lived in PFT. But even when she moved to Bemis Lawrence Hall, she said Gogins was there every day and they hung out all the time.

“We went to baseball games together, we went to football games together,” Kelly said.

Kelly also said it did not take long before they became very close friends.

“He was happy, joyful — he was very outgoing,” she said.

Kelly also said Gogins used to walk her to and from work at night so she didn’t have to walk in the dark alone .

Louisville freshman Brittani Thompson was also Gogins’ good friend. They spent a lot of time together.

“We would go eat lunch together,” Thompson said. “He would come to my room and we would watch movies together.”

Thompson said Gogins was smart and the type of person people didn’t want to stay away from.

“He was a good friend,” she said. “He always kept us with a smile on our faces. He was intelligent. He was always reaching for a 4.0 in school.”

Thompson said she will really miss Gogins’ jokes and his sense of humor.

Louisville sophomore Erin Mitchell was Gogins’ close friend. She said one of her favorite memories with Gogins was a funny one. Mitchell, her roommate and some other friends hung out in her room with Gogins one night and everyone danced.

“They were all trying to get me to dance, and I said I wasn’t going to dance until BJ danced, because BJ was one of the only ones who wasn’t dancing,” Mitchell said. “And he, in reply, said that he doesn’t dance, he just shakes his dreads. And then he stood up and showed me how he shook his head and made his dreads do his little thing.”

She also said Gogins was a genuinely nice guy.

“He was so kind hearted and, you know, I believe that he really wanted to succeed in life,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said Gogins made her feel safe.

“BJ was one of those people who…you had a spot in your heart for,” Mitchell said. “He always watched over you. He would’ve been there for me no matter what. No matter if somebody was being nasty towards me or if I needed, you know, a hug or a shoulder to cry on. He always was there.”

Mitchell said she will miss everything about Gogins.

“I will miss seeing his smile,” Mitchell said. “He always smiled. Some of the stuff that he would say would just make me laugh.”