Bowie State University honored the life of Richard Collins III today during their commencement ceremony.
Collins, 23, was stabbed to death over the weekend while visiting friends at the University of Maryland. While waiting for an Uber, Collins and his friends were approached by Sean Urbanski. Urbanski, 22, reportedly interacted with them for a few moments before stabbing Collins.
“He said to the victim, ‘Step left, step left, if you know what’s good for you,'” reported University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell. “The victim looked at him puzzled with the other friends of his and said ‘No.’ It was then that Sean Urbanski stabbed the victim in his chest.”
Mickey L. Burnim, president of the university, spoke about Collins, a recently commissioned US Army second lieutenant, and offered the moment of silence. “Let us pause now in a moment of silence and contemplation of what each of us might do to promote greater peace, harmony and love that seems to be so lacking in our country and our world today,” he said.
Collins’ graduation gown was draped over a front row seat during the ceremony. President Burnim also posthumously conferred Collins’ degree.
Urbanski has been charged with first- and second-degree murder as well as first-degree assault. He’s also been denied bail.
The FBI joined in on the investigation after Chief Mitchell announced the suspect is a member of a racist Facebook group. They are determining if the act was a hate crime.
Collins’ father told NBC News he’s still in shock. “I’m in no place to feel very many emotions beside sadness and just a deep sense of personal loss,” he said. “A parent’s worst nightmare has just reached my doorstep.”
Please keep Richard Collins’ family and friends in your prayers.
Bryant Smith is the founder and owner of The Top Tea.