Authorities in Athens, GA are investigating the death of longtime Widespread Panic equipment manager, Donald Garrie Vereen.
A message on the band’s website says Vereen, 49, passed away Wednesday morning “due to unexpected complications from his recent aneurism.” The message also reads, “The Vereen and Widespread Panic Families respectfully request that energies spent are not wasted on rumor and speculation.”
But local media, including the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Athens Banner-Herald, reported Vereen was stabbed and the medical examiner ruled it as a homicide. According to reports, a friend called 911 saying Vereen had committed suicide. Capt. Clarence Holeman with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department reportedly said Vereen had a stab-wound to the chest, but further evidence collected at Vereen’s home suggest it might not be a homicide. The police are expected to meet with the medical examiner later today.
Vereen’s death came just one day after Georgia’s House of Representatives and Senate honored Widespread Panic, commemorating the band’s 25th anniversary.