FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2007, file photo, Florida International wide receiver Kendall Berry (19) is tackled by Kansas safety Darrell Stuckey (25) during the first half of their college football game in Lawrence, Kan. Berry was stabbed to death in an incident on the school's main Miami campus late Thursday night. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File) Original Filename: FIU_Player_Killed_Football_NY164.jpg
A football player at Florida International University was found dead on campus Thursday night, the victim of several stab wounds, according to university officials.
Kendall Berry, 22, was a running back and wide receiver for the Golden Panthers who stuck with football despite suffering several severe knee injuries.
Witnesses told police that two men were seen arguing near the recreation center on campus Thursday night when one stabbed the other and fled the scene. Berry died on his way to the hospital, police said.
"This was all packed with a bunch of guys, everybody was throwing their hands in the air, a big fight happened, next thing you know, when everybody scattered, I just see the guy just laying down," student witness Freddy Chica said.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kendall's family," FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg said in a statement. "We are here to support them and our entire university community as all of us come to terms with this tragedy."
Rosenberg also sent out a video message to the campus, ensuring students, faculty and parents that the school is safe. Grief counselors were at the school on Friday.
"We will not rest until the perpetrator of this crime is brought to justice," Rosenberg said.
"It was nuts, it was crazy it happened at school right in front of the gym," said student Josh Foltz.
A person was detained and questioned by police but released earlier this morning and is not a suspect, police said.
FIU's football coach, Mario Cristobal, called it a "tremendous loss.
"Kendall had an infectious personality; he was loved and respected by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. It was truly an honor to have known and coached Kendall," Cristoball said in a statement. "It’s a shame to lose such a young life to an act of senseless violence."
Classes went on as scheduled but the feeling around campus was that things were anything but normal.
"I told my parents and they were like freaked out," said student Daria Castillo. "I'm just worried to walk alone."
Police are still investigating the incident, which highlights a week of tragic and violent attacks on school campuses in South Florida. Earlier this week, two attacks at different middle schools landed students in the hospital.
"I'm sure it was like an isolated incident but it's sad that we lost one of our brothers, one of our own," said student Kevin Cahill.