WASHINGTON — In a joint news conference Sunday night, the FBI and University of Maryland police classified the stabbing death of a student on the U.Md. campus as a hate crime.
They believe race is the key motivator in the death of Richard Collins III, who was identified as the victim.
Sean Christopher Urbanski, 22, of Severna Park, Maryland, has been charged with first- and second-degree murder in the case.
Campus police responded to a report of an assault with a knife on Regents Drive near Montgomery Hall at a bus stop around 3:05 a.m. Saturday.
Officers found Collins — a student from Bowie State University — on the sidewalk early Saturday suffering from stab wounds to his chest, police said.
He was taken to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
According to police, Collins and Urbanski did not know each other and the attack was unprovoked.
Collins was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Army.
According to The Associated Press, Urbanski was listed as a member of a Facebook group called “Alt-Reich: Nation,” where members leave racially charged posts. A link to a Facebook page with his photo and the name of the high school in the town where police said he lived was included in the group’s membership list.
The attack came as the University of Maryland hosted visitors for graduation festivities.
During Sunday’s University of Maryland graduation ceremony, school President Wallace Loh led students and their families in a moment of silence for the slain Bowie State student.
“We are still in shock that a young man, so full of promise, should have his life cut short, so suddenly,” Loh said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, and with the entire Bowie State University community.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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