MANCHESTER, NH – Tyler Carlisle graduated second in his class at Central High School, remembered by friends here in Manchester as smart, driven and heading for success in politics.
Instead, Carlisle’s life ended tragically Tuesday. He was identified as the Yale University graduate who died early May 26 after he allegedly stabbed a fellow Yale student, 21-year-old Alexander Michaud – also a Manchester native – before falling to his death from a ninth-floor apartment in New Haven, CT.
According to a New Haven police press release, Carlisle landed on a third-floor terrace after allegedly jumping from atop the Taft Apartments.
Carlisle graduated with Central High School’s class of 2011, No. 2 in his class. He was remembered Tuesday by classmate Alli Sarazen as a kind and intelligent boy, who took her to the music department semi-formal and taught her how to waltz to hip-hop.
She found out about Carlisle’s death online several hours earlier, as news of the very public and tragic death went viral quickly, making the rounds on national news and social sharing sites.
“He brought my mom flowers that night,” said Sarazen, who often joked with her mother that he would be the guy to go on to be really successful, and then fly back to a class reunion in a helicopter.
She declined to speculate on what could have gone wrong, adding only that in the years since high school she has learned that, as human beings, we are all complex.
“I’ve been reading the comments on some of the online articles about this. I guess my plea to the public would be to remember that it’s important to be kind. You can play the speculation game forever, but you’ll never know the whole story. This is not a time to be cruel, no matter how thrilling that can feel from behind the comfort of your computer screen,” said Sarazen.
Carlisle was always politically motivated, and had worked for Connecticut Republican Joseph Bentivegna’s failed Congressional campaign. He also worked for Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign in 2011 and did some database design for Frank Guinta’s 2010 Congressional campaign.
At one time Carlisle had launched an online business called The Right Technology, specializing in campaign databases and tech consulting. He also worked for Child & Family Services in Manchester prior to high school graduation.
“Tyler worked in the Street Outreach program of Child and Family Services, where he helped runaway and homeless youth. He was always reliable and built positive relationships with the youth in the program,” said Program Director Erin J. Kelly. The last time we saw him, we were wishing him well as he was moving onto Yale.”
He was a philosophy major, and according to his Linked In profile, his senior thesis centered on political theory with a philosophical bent: I am focusing on how paradigmatic differences between political theories halt communication because of fundamentally different moral assumptions. My goal is to attempt a meta-sketch of those differences in order to understand where the divisions actually exist; thereby establishing lines of communication between different sides. As drafts are available I will be publishing them online,” wrote Carlisle.
Michaud was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and was listed in serious but stable condition as of 5 p.m., according to a statement released by Yale Dean Jonathan Holloway. Police continue to investigate.
Michaud is a member of Yale’s class of 2017, according to Holloway.
“In this difficult time, we extend our sympathies, thoughts, and prayers to the families of these two members of our community and wish Alexander a complete recovery,” the statement from Holloway read.
Carlisle and Michaud knew each other from Manchester, although Michaud attended the Derryfield School, and both belonged to a conservative Yale Political Union group called Party of the Right, the university’s most radically conservative debate society.
Sarazen’s mother, Anna Maenhout, was shocked by the news, and said there was nothing she could add to such a tragic turn of events for a young man she knew with such potential for a bright future.
“There’s nothing I could ever say that the people who know and love him don’t already know,” Maenhout said.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly state Tyler Carlisle’s year of graduation from Central High School. We regret the error.