Mayor Pledges Arrest in Howard U. Student's Murder

By Jackie Bensen
|  Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013  |  Updated 11:35 PM EDT
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News4's Jackie Bensen attended an emotional memorial for 22-year-old Omar Sykes, a Howard University student killed last week during a robbery. Mayor Vincent Gray promised he would do his best to find Sykes' killers.

Jackie Bensen

News4's Jackie Bensen attended an emotional memorial for 22-year-old Omar Sykes, a Howard University student killed last week during a robbery. Mayor Vincent Gray promised he would do his best to find Sykes' killers.

As Mayor Vincent Gray promised to find the individuals responsible for killing a Howard University student, his parents spoke with News4 for the first time.

Omar Sykes, 22, was gunned down during an apparent robbery last week while walking in the 700 block of Fairmont Street NW.

Police said they believe the incident was random. A friend walking with Sykes at the time was pistol-whipped and suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Mayor Gray, along with Sykes' parents and friends, attended a somber memorial Wednesday night at the Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel on the Howard University campus.

"We are going to get the person who committed this heinous crime," Gray said. He also proposed renaming the block of Fairmont Street where Sykes was killed in his memory.

Sherry Zalika Sykes, his mother, delivered the eulogy Wednesday.

"We've been held up by your love for the last few days," she told the crowd. "Nothing but love will truly save us."

Howard University President Dr. Sidney Ribeau was also in attendance.

"Omar exemplified that which is best about Howard University," Ribeau said.

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