Winston-Salem State University Chancellor Elwood Robinson encouraged students to “come together and bond together” following the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old student early Sunday on Campus.
Speaking in the rain during a vigil for Anthony White Jr. of Charlotte, Robinson said he was at a loss for words.
“Words are unable to capture what we are feeling,” he said. “So in moments like this, it’s an opportunity to speak to the heart, to listen to your heart, to listen to your feelings…”
Robinson, who was formally installed on Friday during Founder’s Day programs, said he was heartbroken over the death of a student.
“In the moment we have lost one of our family members,” he told the students. “The question becomes for us…what will we do with that?
“We will continue to support one another,” he also said, adding, “We will be better. We will be stronger.”
Meanwhile, police continue to search for the gunman responsible for the shooting, which also injured a second student, who was treated at a hospital and released, according to news reports.
The shooting happened about 1:20 a.m., shortly after a final homecoming event was scheduled to end. The NAA Masquerade Gala was to take place from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at McNeil Ballroom in the Anderson Center, according to the campus homecoming schedule posted on the university’s website. The Anderson Center is adjacent to the main campus, just off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
White was unresponsive when investigators found him in a parking lot near Wilson Hall and Gleason-Hairston Terrace, according to a report from the Winston-Salem Police Department. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
He was studying information technology and had been an accomplished football player at Belton-Honea Path High School in Honea Path, S.C., about 130 miles west of Charlotte, according to The Charlotte Observer. At WSSU, he wanted to focus on his studies rather than try for a spot on the college team, his mother said.
According to DailyMail.com, White often used his Twitter account to post inspirational messages about his desire to excel in life.
Two days before he was killed, according to the website, he posted a message that read: “A lot of ppl doubted me I kno its killin them to see me in college wen they said I was gon b in jail. Mission is never complete.”
He also posted that day, “Everything happens for a reason,” the website said.
Johnson C. Smith University on Sunday tweeted its condolences.
JCSU offers condolences to the family of Anthony White Jr, and to the WSSU family during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/hhJOApzFIB
— Johnson C. Smith U. (@JCSUniversity) November 1, 2015
The Charlotte Observer contributed to this report.