A 23-year-old student who was killed on the College Park campus of University of Maryland days before obtaining his degree was honored during Bowie State University’s graduation ceremony on Tuesday.
Friends and family of Richard Collins III remembered the student as his father — Richard Collins Jr. — accepted his son’s degree at the historically Black college.
Richard Collins III, who was killed on Saturday, was just commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army and “prided himself on his time and in his ROTC unit on being the top runner in his PTs,” his father told NBC 4 Washington. “He even won a certificate for being the best,” Collins Jr. continued.
Twenty-two-year-old Sean Christopher Urbanski, a University of Maryland student, was charged with the murder of Collins.
According to the court documents obtained by NBC 4, Collins was waiting for the university’s shuttle bus with his friends around 3 a.m. on Saturday. When they realized the shuttle bus had stopped running for the night, Collins and his friends called an Uber.
Urbanski approached the group and reportedly said, “Step left, step left if you know what’s best for you.” Collins responded by saying “no.”
Urbanski, who is said to have ties to the Alt-Reich community, continued to approach Collins and his friends. He then pulled out a knife with a 3 to 4 inch silver blade and stabbed Collins once in the chest, NBC 4 reports.
Many people, including ’13th’ Director Ava DuVernay, have expressed their condolences on social media while calling for an end to such heinous acts.
Here’s everything we know about the slain student and the investigation into his death:
Collins was honored during a vigil on Monday:
On Monday, the day before Bowie State’s graduation ceremony, Collins was honored during a candlelight vigil.
His Father Accepted His Degree On His Son’s Behalf:
During Bowie State’s ceremony on Tuesday, Collins Jr. walked on the stage to accept his son’s degree.
Sean Christopher Urbanski, 22, was charged with murder and assault for the attack:
Urbanski, was held without bond on Monday, and according to reports, a judge denied Urbanski’s lawyer’s request for bond, drug counseling and GPS monitoring while claiming that his client was intoxicated during the incident.
Maryland District Judge Patrice E. Lewis, who presided over the case, called Urbanski “an absolute danger to the community,” according to CNN.
Urbanski, Collins’ killer, was a member of an “Alt-Reich: Nation” Facebook Group:
As ThinkProgress writes, the group that Urbanski was a part of, which has since been deleted, was an online forum for racist and sexist memes and other inflammatory material. Authorities have not said whether Urbanski was an active participant or if he ever created or shared troubling material.
His death is being investigated as a hate crime:
After learning that Urbanski was a part of the “Alt-Reich: Nation” Facebook group, police asked the FBI to assist with the investigation.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan expressed outrage about the attack:
Maryland’s 62nd governor Logan Hogan condemned the killing and sent his condolences to Collins’ family on social media.
“We are devastated to learn that Richard Collins III, a Bowie State University student, was the victim of this heinous crime… The First Lady and I send our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones, and we are keeping the entire Bowie State and University of Maryland communities in our prayers,” Hogan wrote.
“Violence and hatred have no place in our communities and will never be tolerated. In the wake of this senseless tragedy, I ask that all Marylanders show strength and come together in this time of grieving,” he continued.