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Death of graduating college student killed at U of Maryland investigated as hate crime

(Courtesy of Collins family spokesperson)

Bowie State University’s vice president for student affairs, Dr. Artie Lee Travis, expressed outrage Sunday night.

“Hate has no place in America. Hate has no place on a college campus,” said Travis.

“We have no doubt that Sean Urbanski, with a knife, stabbed Richard W. Collins III,” said UMPD Chief David Mitchell. “He said to the victim ‘step left if you know what’s good for you’.”

Officials are now investigating Collins’ murder as a possible hate crime.

The FBI was brought in to assist with the investigation after detectives learned that Urbanski is a member of a racist Facebook group page.

“It’s despicable, it shows extreme bias against women, Latinos, members of the Jewish faith and especially African Americans,” said Mitchell.

Bowie State’s soon-to-be graduate was stabbed to death while visiting friends at the University of Maryland.

According to court documents, Collins was outside of Montgomery Hall with two friends when they heard Urbanski screaming as he approached them. He reportedly said "Step left, step left if you know what's best for you" before stabbing Collins. One of Collins' friends reports seeing a knife in Urbanski's hand with a silver blade around three to four inches.

"As we search for answers to this senseless crime, please continue to keep the family and friends of Lt. Collins, and the BSU community, in your thoughts and prayers," said University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. "We all grieve together for a promising life ended far too early."

Collins’ pastor Darryl Godlock says not only was he days away from graduation, but he was recently commissioned into the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant.

“The family is just devastated.....this young man’s career was ready to excel,” said Godlock.

A vigil is scheduled for Collins on Monday evening at Bowie State University.

“It is a tragic loss to see our national treasure, in the form of Lt. Collins, taken away from us in this manner,” said FBI spokesman Gordon Johnson.

Urbanski, who was enrolled a student at the University of Maryland, is being held without bond. He is charged with first/second degree murder and first degree assault. He is due in court next month.

"We must all do more to nurture a climate, on campus and beyond, where we stand against hate, we fight against hate crimes, and we reaffirm the values that define us a university and as a democracy," Loh added.

ABC7 first learned of Collins' potential involvement from University of Maryland graduate Brianna Hurwitz.

Documents from the District Court of Maryland can be read below:


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