North Texas Daily

UNT community mourns loss of student, entertainer

UNT community mourns loss of student, entertainer

April 03
00:06 2012

Holly Harvey / Senior Staff Writer

UNT student Shaun Chapa – known as “DJ Chapa” – died early Monday morning, according to a Tarrant County medical examiner report.

The official cause of death has not yet been released, but friend Jorge Rivas, a 2011 UNT graduate, said Chapa died from pneumonia. He is survived by his daughter.

In Chapa’s Facebook posts on Saturday, he said doctors weren’t sure if he had bronchitis or pneumonia and were treating him for both.
His final Facebook update on Saturday said he was going to play a show at a club that night, though he was sick.

Chapa, a 32-year-old graduate student, was a member of Lambda Theta Phi fraternity and a member of the League of United Latin American Citizens at UNT. He also performed as a DJ at local venues and at UNT’s 2012 Union Fest.

“He was a wonderful server of our community, a great leader, a friend and a family-oriented man,” friend Christina Hernandez said.

He worked as a community leader on UNT’s campus, Rivas said. He was particularly involved in the DREAM Act, which works towards allowing undocumented workers conditional permanent residency.

“He was a devoted political activist for the Latino population,” Rivas said. “Although we were on opposite sides of the DREAM Act, he would always hear you out.”

Wall postings from some of his 4,350 friends on Facebook called him a “Latino role model” and “an influential individual who fought for what he believed in.”

Chapa was enlisted in the Marine Corps from 1997 to 2001, according to his Myspace account. He graduated from UNT with a bachelor’s degree in 2008 and was working towards a graduate degree in applied anthropology.

“He had a tough exterior, but he was a really nice guy,” Rivas said. “He did a lot of community work.”

Photo by Tyler Cleveland / Visuals Editor - Pre-radio, television and film senior Soraya Ronco, Shaun Chapa’s longtime girlfriend, hugs Alexa Chapa, 7, during a vigil Monday for the late Chapa, south of the Willis Library. “I took him to church, and that’s how our relationship grew,” said Ronco, adding they were talking about getting married. “He was my better half,” she said.

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