Mor­gan stu­dent killed in off-cam­pus stab­bing

No mo­tive and no sus­pect are known in the death of Mar­cus Ed­wards, 21

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Jes­sica An­der­son Bal­ti­more Sun re­porter Car­rie Wells con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle. jkan­der­son@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/jan­ders5

A Mor­gan State Univer­sity stu­dent who as­pired to be­come a po­lice of­fi­cer was fa­tally stabbed about a mile north of cam­pus in North­east Bal­ti­more, city po­lice said.

Mar­cus Ed­wards, 21, was found Monday night in the cross­walk of a busy in­ter­sec­tion at Loch Raven Boule­vard and Wood­bourne Av­enue. He had been stabbed in the chest.

He is the sec­ond Mor­gan stu­dent to be fa­tally stabbed near cam­pus in the past year. Gerald Wil­liams, 20, of Bowie was stabbed in Fe­bru­ary in­side a gated off-cam­pus stu­dent hous­ing com­plex called Mor­gan View after a bas­ket­ball game on cam­pus.

On Tues­day morn­ing, homi­cide de­tec­tives and po­lice recruits can­vassed the neigh­bor­hood to iden­tify pos­si­ble wit­nesses or find ev­i­dence. De­tec­tives have not iden­ti­fied a sus­pect or mo­tive.

“At this time, there’s noth­ing that points us to any rea­son that some­one would have killed him,” said T.J. Smith, a Bal­ti­more po­lice spokesman.

Smith asked for any wit­nesses whomight have seen the at­tack as they drove past the in­ter­sec­tion, or neigh­bors who might have seen some­thing sus­pi­cious, to talk to in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

“We need peo­ple to come for­ward and help us out,” Smith said. “We don’t know what the mo­tive in this was. At this time, we can­not rule out rob­bery. There doesn’t ap­pear there was any ma­jor con­fronta­tion prior to this.”

No weapon was re­cov­ered from the scene, he said.

“Un­for­tu­nately, not even our school com­mu­nity is im­mune to some of the vi­o­lence that we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing,” Smith said.

At a pre­vi­ously sched­uled town hall meet­ing on cam­pus Tues­day night, Mor­gan Pres­i­dent David Wil­son told stu­dents that the univer­sity would ex­plore pro­vid­ing shut­tles to and from some of the apart­ment build­ings near where Ed­wards was killed. He said of­fi­cials also would look into whether to add a se­cu­rity wall around cam­pus.

“We’re still go­ing to be an ur­ban univer­sity, com­mit­ted to serv­ing the needs of our city,” Wil­son said. “But we have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to the safety of our stu­dents.”

Stu­dents at the fo­rum pressed Wil­son on safety im­prove­ments, which some said they weren’t see­ing.

“How can you ask for do­na­tions when some stu­dents aren’t even mak­ing it to grad­u­a­tion?” said Ja’Von Hill, a 22-year-old jour­nal­ism ma­jor from Up­per Marl­boro, re­fer­ring to Wil­son’s call dur­ing the fo­rum for stu­dents to do­nate to the univer­sity after they grad­u­ate.

Ed­wards’ mother, Ni­cole Aus­ber­ryBrooks, said her son “had an in­fec­tious spirit,” and “not a mean bone in his body. He was per­fect. He was a per­fect child.”

After grad­u­at­ing from high school in 2013, he at­tended Ken­tucky State Univer­sity but trans­ferred to Mor­gan to be closer to fam­ily, his mother and aunt said.

“We were re­ally happy be­cause it was where he wanted to be. We were happy to have him here,” said his aunt, Lisa Mon­roe.

Since a young age, Ed­wards wanted to be a de­tec­tive, his mother said.

“It was all he dreamed about since he was a lit­tle boy,” Aus­berry-Brooks said. “He loved to help peo­ple, he wanted to work with kids.”

His aunt said he stud­ied so­cial work to help him han­dle dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions he might face as a po­lice of­fi­cer.

His mother said he had at­tended the Ju­nior Po­lice Academy with the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice Depart­ment in D.C., and for the past four years would par­tic­i­pate in ride-alongs and vol­un­teer to do odd jobs for the depart­ment.

“He was work­ing very hard. He’s the old­est of six kids and wanted to be an ex­am­ple,” his mother said.

In the summer, he did ad­min­is­tra­tive work for the U.S. Depart­ment of the Trea­sury and worked part-time at a Chipo­tle restau­rant.

He was also very ac­tive in his church, Ju­dah Tem­ple AME Zion in Prince Ge­orge’s County, where he vol­un­teered in the Chris­tian ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment and would travel every year for church con­fer­ences, his mother and aunt said.

Mon­roe said the fam­ily last heard from Ed­wards on Monday af­ter­noon when he called to check on his grand­mother. Mon­roe said she was with her mother dur­ing the call and joked that he had not called to check on her too, but he quickly re­as­sured her

“I am check­ing on you too, aun­tie,” he told her, she re­called. “He was just a tremen­dous kid. I am miss­ing him tremen­dously.”

On cam­pus, Ed­wards or­ga­nized events for the cam­pus group SMOOTH, which stands for Strong Men Over­com­ing Ob­sta­cles Through Hard-work.

“He al­ways wanted to be a part of some­thing,” said Dwight Flow­ers, a Mor­gan grad­u­ate who started the lead­er­ship and vol­un­teer group and re­mains in­volved. “Mar­cus was one of those vi­brant peo­ple. He made ev­ery­one feel com­fort­able.”

KIM HAIRSTON/BAL­TI­MORE SUN PHO­TOS

Bal­ti­more Po­lice Depart­ment trainees dis­trib­ute fliers along North­bourne Road. They were can­vass­ing the area near the 5400 block of Loch Raven Blvd. where Mar­cus Ed­wards, 21, was stabbed to death Monday night.

A Bal­ti­more Po­lice depart­ment trainee holds a flier that was handed out in the neigh­bor­hood.

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