In the early hours of Saturday morning, Sean Christopher Urbanski, 22, was arrested and charged with the murder of Richard Collins III, 23. According to BBC News, Mr. Collins was visiting friends during graduation week at the College Park campus when he was stabbed in the chest.
Two days prior, Mr. Collins had been commissioned as a US Army lieutenant. His upcoming graduation from Bowie University was set for this Tuesday. Reverend Darryl L. Godlock, the spokesperson for the Collins family, told The Baltimore Sun that Mr. Collins wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. He stated that Mr. Collins “wanted to make his parents proud of him so he went into the military to serve his country. It was a great opportunity for him to advance forward and make the most out of his career.” He continued to comment that Mr. Collins “was not a thug. This was a very caring individual. He was highly intelligent and he was at the peak of his career. He loved his family, he loved people that he came in contact with, and more importantly he loved his God.”
The BBC reports that the FBI were asked to look into the case as a potential hate crime after it was discovered that Mr. Urbanski belongs to a Facebook group titled “Alt-Reich Nation.” This group posts hateful content about women, African Americans, Jews, and others, according to the BBC’s report and comments from University of Maryland’s Police Chief David Mitchell. Gordon Johnson, the special agent in command of Baltimore’s field office, stated on Sunday that they “are here to evaluate that as an ongoing concern with respect to whether or not this was a hate crime.”
At the time of the incident, Mr. Collins was with two friends near a bus stop around 3 am. Witnesses are reported to have heard Mr. Urbanski screaming before approaching Mr. Collins and his friends. The BBC reports that the suspect “allegedly told the group: ‘Step left, step left if you know what’s best for you.’” When Mr. Collins refused, Mr. Urbanski stabbed him in the chest with a knife. Mr. Collins was taken to Prince George’s County Shock Trauma, where he was pronounced dead. Police found Mr. Urbanski sitting on a bench near where the site of the stabbing occurred. Mr. Urbanski has been charged with first and second-degree murder, as well as first-degree assault.
In a statement released Sunday, President Wallace D. Loh announced that the University of Maryland Police were increasing their patrols on and off campus in the wake of the tragedy that had occurred. He called the incident something that had “shocked, saddened, and angered” their community.
The president of Bowie University, Dr. Artie Lee Travis, has spoken out more extensively about the incident. He stated that the campus is in mourning for Mr. Collins, and stated that they are looking for the “quickest investigation possible.” He continued to comment that “Hate has no place in America. Hate has no place on a college campus where young minds are coming together to try to change the world.”