Shanquella Robinson, an alumna of Winston-Salem State University, was alive when medical help first arrived at the vacation home where she was staying with a group of people last month in Cabo, Mexico, according to information in a police report.
The report differs from details previously reported from Robinson’s death certificate that said she died within 15 minutes of being injured. Instead, a police report excerpt shows a doctor from a local hospital was with Robinson and others in the house for close to three hours before she was pronounced dead.
Robinson, 25, of Charlotte, graduated in the summer of 2018 from WSSU, a WSSU spokeswoman has said.
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The Charlotte Observer obtained excerpts from a police report earlier this week that had not yet been publicly released. The information was provided to the Observer by Gerardo Zuñiga, an investigative reporter who works in Los Cabos for MetropoliMx, and details were first reported by MetropoliMx on Monday.
Robinson is a Charlotte native who traveled to Cabo on Oct. 28. She died a day later.
Notably, the police information reported by and provided from MetropliMx does not mention obvious signs of Robinson’s physical injuries, which family members have said existed on her body prior to her burial. Grave injuries to her back and neck were determined to be the cause of death after an autopsy by officials in Mexico. The police report says she also suffered cardiac arrest.
Since her death, the FBI and Mexican police authorities have launched investigations into how she died. The lack of conclusive evidence and conflicting explanations has led to her story going viral, invoking global outcry with countless people closely following Robinson’s death. The hashtag #JusticeForShanquella has been trending on Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok.
The Charlotte Observer has been unable to reach those who were with her on the trip. No arrests were reported as of late Monday.
Robinson’s family became suspicious of her friends’ claims that she died of alcohol poisoning when a Mexican autopsy report showed that her cause of death was “severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation.” Atlas Luxation is a form of neck injury.
The Observer attempted to reach Cabo police via email and social media messages and did not receive a response. Zuñiga told the Observer he obtained the internal law enforcement report through a source. Robinson’s family did not return multiple calls and messages.
The information from the police report shows that at 2:13 p.m. on Oct. 29, medical help was summoned to Villa Linda 32, a property run by company Cabo Villas, located in San José del Cabo.
Around an hour later, Dr. Karolina Beatriz Ornelas Gutiérrez, of the American Medical Center, a local hospital, arrived to treat Robinson, according to report excerpts. House calls to vacation rentals for routine non-emergency medical services are common in tourist hubs in Mexico.
The Observer confirmed with American Medical Center on Monday that Gutiérrez is employed there. The hospital did not respond to requests for the medical and autopsy reports.
It is unclear in the police report excerpt who called for medical help, but the reporting person is listed as Wenter Donovan, of Greensboro. Donovan is one of six people identified by family, friends and media sources as a person Robinson was traveling with.
Donovan could not be reached to comment and her phone number listed on the police report excerpt had been disconnected.
The police report excerpt is in Spanish. According to a Charlotte Observer staff translation of the document, Dr. Gutiérrez says she was told Robinson had “drunk a lot of alcohol” and the medical call was for Robinson to “be given an IV.”
The police record indicates Gutiérrez found “a female” — understood in the report to be Robinson — with stable vital signs but dehydrated, unable to communicate verbally and appearing to be inebriated.
The doctor reported that she believed Robinson needed to be transferred to a hospital, but her friends insisted that she be treated in the villa. Dr. Gutiérrez attempted an IV but was unsuccessful, according to the report excerpt. It’s unclear what medication was in the IV.
The information from police says the doctor was there for close to an hour when Robinson began having a seizure. The convulsions from the seizure lasted less than a minute, according to the report.
“At this point the patient’s friend, named Wenter Donovan, called 911 to request an ambulance,” according to the Observer’s Spanish to English translation of the report. This was around 4:20 p.m.
“In the meantime, the patient presented with difficulty breathing and a lowered pulse, and they gave her rescue breaths.”
The doctor, along with a friend, began administering CPR at 4:49 p.m. when Gutierrez detected Robinson had stopped having a pulse.
Police arrived and talked with the doctor who was treating Robinson at 5:25 p.m. It’s not clear from the information in the police report exactly what time an ambulance arrived from the 911 call.
The report information indicates paramedics “administered a total of 14 rounds of CPR, five doses of adrenaline and six discharges (AED shocks) without success.”
Unable to revive Robinson, Gutierrez “declared her dead at 5:57 p.m.,” according to the report excerpt.
The police report information lists “deceased person (cardiopulmonary arrest)“ as the reason police were called.
How did Robinson die?
Sallamondra Robinson, Shanquella’s mother, told news outlets that each friend from the trip has a different story and they initially told her that her daughter had alcohol poisoning.
Official autopsy reports list the cause of death as “severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation.”
Mexican authorities are investigating Robinson’s death as a possible femicide, the State Attorney General’s Office of Baja California Sur announced in a statement Thursday, according to ABC News. Femicide is “the gender-based murder of a woman or girl by a man, according to Merriam Webster’s dictionary.
The FBI began investigating Robinson’s death amid the conflicting reports, the agency confirmed in a statement Friday to The Charlotte Observer and other outlets.
A video of a fight has gone viral and Robinson’s mother told CBS News she recognizes her daughter in the footage.
The footage shows a naked woman, barely verbal, being hit and punched in the face multiple times by another woman until she falls to the ground. A person not seen in the video is heard saying “Quella can you at least fight back?” The FBI says they have seen the video.
Family seeks answers
Robinson’s sister Quilla Long said in a statement published to gofundme, the family will continue to investigate what happened and they are raising funds for legal fees.
“The United States State Department released a statement claiming “no clear evidence of foul play,” yet there is a video circulating of a woman violently attacking Shanquella,” Long said. “This statement is unacceptable, and we are beyond devastated. We continue to fight for the truth.”
As of Monday morning, the page had raised $354,422. This included a $50,000 donation from Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving.
Hundreds of community members attended Robinson’s funeral on Nov. 19 and loved ones wore pink in her honor.
Her casket, wrapped with photos of her, was pulled into the Macedonia Baptist Church by a horse drawn carriage. Her loved ones signed the casket before she was laid to rest.