A student who attended Bowie State University was killed after he was assaulted in an unprovoked attack on the University of Maryland College Park campus early Saturday morning, police said.
The victim was at a bus stop with two friends near Montgomery Hall on Regents Drive about 3 a.m. when a UMd. student attacked and stabbed him, police said. He was seriously injured and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
"It never gets any worse than this," University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell said at a news conference Saturday afternoon. "When I sat with the victim's father, who is a military veteran and his pastor and we shed tears together...I can tell you, it rips your heart out."
The altercation appeared to be random and unprovoked, according to Mitchell.
U.S. & World
"The assailant in this case approached and, totally unprovoked, stabbed the victim in the chest," Mitchell said.
The victim's friends then called 911. University police responded and took the suspect into custody by the bus stop where the stabbing happened, Mitchell said.
First- and second-degree murder charges are pending against the suspect.
The identities of the victim and the suspect have not been released. Police said the victim's name would be released after his relatives were notified.
"I met with his family earlier today. Needless to say, they're very distraught. They're shattered, but they do know that the assailant in this case has been arrested and he will be appropriately charged," Mitchell said.
The suspect's identity will be released after charges are officially filed against him, Mitchell said.
Mitchell said the suspect had been drinking but would not comment on what effect, if any, that had on the incident.
A university surveillance camera captured the attack.
The university police department said late Saturday night that there was no update on charges and police would provide an update as soon as possible.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said the state is working closely with the university in the investigation.
"The First Lady and I are deeply saddened by the death of the young man from Bowie State University, and send our sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones.
"I have spoken to President Loh, and Colonel William Pallozzi of the Maryland State Police has been in contact with University law enforcement. The state is working closely with the University of Maryland as they investigate this horrific situation.
"Our students deserve to feel safe, and violence on our campuses will not be tolerated.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bowie State University and University of Maryland families as they grieve and begin the healing process in the wake of this tragedy."
The president of Bowie State University, Mickey Burnim, said counseling services will be available to students and a moment of silence will be observed during the school's commencement on Tuesday.
"Our first thoughts of condolence go to the family for this tremendous loss of a son, who had the promise of a bright future. Our prayers of concern also extend to those within the Bowie State University community as we try to cope with this tragic loss of life.
"As we struggle to deal with our emotions, let’s find appropriate ways to express our sorrow and hope for justice. Let’s remember our words and actions have the power to heal and the power to hurt. Let's strive to use our actions to bring comfort and peace."
University of Maryland President Wallace Loh said, in a statement, commencement exercises at UMd. on Sunday would also have a moment of silence.
"Words cannot express my deep anguish over this horrific tragedy. My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim, and to the entire Bowie State community. I ask that every member of our campus community join me in keeping the victim’s family in their thoughts and prayers.
"There is strength in our unity as we grieve. For this reason and in solidarity with the Bowie State community, we will honor a moment of silence to begin tomorrow's commencement exercises.
"In addition, counselors are available (Saturday) from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Counseling Center in Shoemaker Hall for any members of our community who need support."