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Autopsy scheduled in death of Huntington Beach drummer James Owen Sullivan

December 28, 2009 | 11:48 pm
James owen sullivan James Owen Sullivan, the drummer for the Huntington Beach rock band Avenged Sevenfold, died Monday, Orange County authorities said.

Sullivan, 28, of Huntington Beach, also performed as a backup vocalist for the group of trained multi-instrumental musicians with classical influences, which formed in 1999.

“The cause of death is still under investigation,” said Deputy Coroner Mitchell Sigal. “An autopsy has been scheduled.”

Sullivan was discovered "unresponsive" in his Huntington Beach home at 11 a.m., authorities said.

News of the musician's death prompted many messages of condolence on the band’s Internet fan sites.

The group, which blended melodic hard rock with the emotional drive of hard-core punk, was named Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2006. Sullivan was its hard-driving drum master.
"It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we tell you of the passing today of Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan," read a statement on the group’s website late Monday night.

"Jimmy was not only one of the world’s best drummers, but more importantly he was our best friend and brother,” it said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jimmy’s family and we hope that you will respect their privacy during this difficult time. Jimmy you are forever in our hearts. We love you."

-- Louis Sahagun

Photo: James Owen Sullivan. Credit: Associated Press