Murdered Bowie State University student honored at school's graduation ceremony
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - A Bowie State University student, who was allegedly killed by another college student in what is being investigated as a possible hate crime, is being remembered at what would have been his graduation ceremony.
Richard Collins III, 23, had been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army just two days before he was killed Saturday morning in a stabbing on the University of Maryland campus.
School officials say they will honor Collins, who was set to graduate this year from Bowie State, with a moment of silence during the commencement ceremony. A chair has also been draped with his graduation robe and is being left empty during the ceremony in his honor.
Investigators say they believe 22-year-old Sean Urbanski, who is a white University of Maryland student, stabbed Collins, a black student, in an unprovoked stabbing attack.
Authorities said they are investigating the killing as a possible hate crime, because Urbanski, who has been arrrested and is being held without bond, became a member of a racist Facebook group several months ago.
A vigil was held in honor of Collins Monday night at Bowie State.
"I'm going to remember his character first and foremost," said Lt. Col. Joel Thomas, who led Collins in the schools ROTC program.
"He was outstanding, no question about it," said Bowie State University President Dr. Mickey Burnim.