Black PhD Student Fatally Shot By His Boyfriend During Argument After Returning To His Home State To Finish Dissertation

Devon Wade led an exceptional life despite growing up with both parents incarcerated.

A Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University defined the odds and overcame the tremendous obstacle of having both parents incarcerated. Despite leading a life of academic success and having a promising future, the life of Devon Wade came to an end on Sunday. 

Mario Jerrell Williams (pictured above), 29, is accused of shooting Wade, 28, in the head while the two were at a home in Houston, reported Click 2 Houston.

Williams and Wade were in a relationship, and the two were reportedly engaged in an argument before the fatal shooting, according to prosecutors.

A witness at the scene reported to police that Williams came into the bedroom where Wade was located and seemed upset. When Williams said he was wanted to talk, Wade asked him to leave. However, Williams returned to the home only to have Wade ask him again to leave. This time, Wade escorted him out of the bedroom, down to the first floor.

This is when the unidentified witness heard two gunshots. When the witness ran downstairs, he saw Wade’s twin brother, Stephen, standing over his body.

Other witnesses reported seeing Williams with his arm extended and then hearing gunshots before Williams ran out the back door, prosecutors said.

Stephen Wade, the victim’s brother, told police that he was awakened by the sound of gunshots and when he went downstairs, he saw his brother bleeding. After looking at the home’s security system, he saw a man that looked like Williams.

Police said Williams turned himself in on Monday, admitting that he "shot someone."

Williams told police that he went to Wade's house to get some items, including a handgun that was in Wade's room. He said he was trying to leave, but Wade wouldn't let him, and then punched and chased him downstairs, prosecutors said. Williams said Wade locked the front door but he was able to get the door and Wade lunged at him. Williams told police he shot Wade when he allegedly lunged, according to prosecutors. 

In April 2017, Wade was featured in a special with KPRC dicussing his participation in a support group for children with parents in prison called No More Victims. After attending M.B. Smiley High School in Northeast Houston, Wade graduated with honors from Louisiana State University. He became a Harry Truman scholar and became a doctoral student studying sociology at Columbia University.

Wade returned to Houston to finish his dissertation on the effects of poverty and incarceration on communities of color.

“That’s what we want to do is to empower these young kids to let them know that they can be what they want to be and they don’t have to be ashamed of their lives,” Wade told KPRC earlier this year. 

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