Police have arrested and charged a University of Maryland student for the fatal stabbing of a Bowie State University student. Due to the circumstances surrounding the killing, the FBI is helping to investigate whether it was a hate crime.
Sean Christopher Urbanski, 22, has been charged with first- and second-degree murder for killing Richard Collins III, 23, early on Saturday morning, reported the Baltimore Sun.
Although the attack was not at first thought to be racially motivated, authorities discovered Urbanski is a member of the white supremacist Facebook group, “Alt-Reich: Nation,” reported NBCWashington.com.
"When I look at the information that's contained on that website, suffice it to say that it's despicable, it shows extreme bias against women, Latinos, persons of Jewish faith and especially African-Americans," said University Police Chief David Mitchell.
Around 3 a.m. on Saturday morning, Collins — who is Black — waited with two friends for an Uber on the UMD campus, according to court documents. As they stood at a shuttle stop waiting for their car, they saw Urbanski rapidly approaching, the documents said.
According to court records, “Urbanski said, ‘Step left, step left if you know what’s best for you.’ Collins III said, ‘No’ as Urbanski continued to approach.”
One of Collins’s friends realized Urbanski was holding a 3- to 4-inch blade as he drove the blade into Collins’s chest, documents said. Collins’s friends phoned 911 and waited for authorities to arrive. Collins was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Urbanski was taken into custody by the UMC police department.
“It never gets any worse than this,” Chief Mitchell said at a news conference. “When I sat with the victim’s father, who is a military veteran, and his pastor and we shed tears together ... I can tell you, it rips your heart out.”
Collins was a senior at Bowie State and was supposed to graduate on Tuesday. He was recently commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Bowie State officials are planning a moment of silence for him.
“We are looking forward to the quickest investigation as possible,” said Artie Lee Travis, Bowie State’s vice president for student affairs, to the Baltimore Sun. “Hate has no place in America. Hate has no place on a college campus where young minds are coming together to try to change the world.”
(Photo: Richard Collins III via Facebook)