A photo of slain Bowie State University student Richard Collins III (center) with his parents is displayed at a vigil at the university on May 22.
A photo of slain Bowie State University student Richard Collins III (center) with his parents is displayed at a vigil at the university on May 22.

Slain Bowie State University student Richard Collins III was described in many ways during a vigil Monday — honest, trustworthy, fearless and dependable.

Some students, faculty and alumni shed tears. Some laughed. Some expressed frustration about the tragic death of Collins, 23, who was fatally stabbed early Saturday morning while waiting for a ride-sharing service with two friends at a bus stop at the University of Maryland in College Park.

Lt. Col. Joel Thomas advised the hundreds in attendance to continue living.

“I suggest we pick up the mantle and continue to work and move,” said Thomas, a military science instructor at Bowie State who taught Collins. “Celebrate his life by being great in anything you do. By being great will let [people] know how great a person Richard was and how great an institution Bowie State is.”

Friends such as Talithia Royster talked about how she and Collins were commissioned Thursday as second lieutenants in the Army and were set to graduate Tuesday from Bowie State. Then Royster sang “His Eyes Is on the Sparrow.”

Vigil speakers and attendees stressed to simply do the right thing, even during tragic times.

“We have to wonder, ‘What is wrong with our world?’ We have to absorbed this. We have to deal with it,” said Bowie State President Mickey L. Burnim. “We have to honor [Collins’] memory and we must do that by remembering who he was and how he lived his life. Always striving to express love for each other.”

Hours before the vigil, Collins’ accused killer, Sean Christopher Urbanski, made his first appearance before a Prince George’s County judge on murder and assault charges.

The judge ordered Urbanski, a 22-year-old white student at the University of Maryland, to remain in jail without bond.

According to court documents, Collins was attacked as he and two friends stood at a bus stop on the Maryland campus at about 3:30 a.m.

All three heard Urbanski scream from across the street before approaching them.

“Step left, step left if you know what’s best for you,” Urbanski said to Collins, who replied, “No,” according to court documents.

Urbanski stabbed Collins in the chest and was found by police sitting on a bench about 50 feet away from the bus stop, authorities said. Police recovered a knife from Urbanski’s right pocket.

During a press conference Sunday at the University of Maryland police station, officials said Urbanski may belong to a racist Facebook group. The FBI office in Baltimore will assist in the investigation with the state’s attorney’s office and county police.

Did you like this story?
Would you like to receive articles like this in your inbox? Free!

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *