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Hundreds attend vigil for Morgan State student killed in off-campus stabbing

Fellow Morgan State students planned a #Smile4Marcus vigil for a man fatally stabbed off-campus Monday.

Several hundred students, teachers, friends and family of slain Morgan State University sophomore Marcus Edwards gathered on the Northeast Baltimore campus Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil.

They recalled Edwards, 21, as an upbeat scholar robbed of a promising future.

Fellow members of the group SMOOTH, which stands for Strong Men Overcoming Obstacles Together, spoke passionately of an earnest friend who always attended class, did his homework, and put in the extra time to be a leader and inspiration for others.

Chinedu Nwokeafor, a friend and fellow student, urged those in the crowd — many crying with candles in hand, blue balloons floating above — to never take their time on earth for granted.

"Learn about him and emulate his spirit, because obviously his spirit led to the hundreds being here tonight," Nwokeafor said.

Family and friends said Edwards had a deep faith in God and a constant smile on his face. They said he wanted to be a police officer to help the community.

Songs were sung, and hopes were expressed for more information about Edwards' stabbing Monday night.

Mia Jackson, a 22-year-old senior and friend, arrived with white flowers. Talking about Edwards, she choked up.

"He was such a great person, it's hard to fathom that something like this would happen to him," she said. "He always wanted to save the city. It's just unfortunate the city couldn't save him."

Edwards was found stabbed in the chest Monday night in the crosswalk of a busy intersection at Loch Raven Boulevard and Woodbourne Avenue.

He was the second Morgan State student stabbed near campus in the past year.

In February, Gerald Williams, 20, of Bowie was stabbed inside a gated off-campus student housing complex called Morgan View after a basketball game on campus.

Pia Jordan, a member of the faculty at Morgan's global journalism and communications school, never taught Edwards. But she said she felt strongly about attending the vigil.

"I had to be here," she said. "We all have got to take a stand against evil."

Jordan said she lives within walking distance of the school. She said more must be done to address the problems in the city that lead to such deaths.

"We also have to make sure that we reach out to those young men and women who don't have the support Marcus had," Jordan said. "Whoever stabbed Marcus is in a very bad place. He needs to see the light, or she needs to see the light."

Morgan State President David Wilson said Tuesday he is considering several safety improvements, including shuttles to off-campus apartment complexes where students live and a security wall around campus.

Police have not identified a suspect or motive. Police spokesman T.J. Smith said Wednesday there were no updates in the case.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact homicide detectives at 410-396-2100 or text a tip to 443-902-4824, or call the Metro Crime Stoppers tip line, at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

krector@baltsun.com

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