State police investigating response time in UMES stabbing death

University of Maryland, Eastern Shore officials on Monday said state police are investigating assertions that campus officers took an extended period of time to respond to the fatal stabbing of a student during homecoming weekend.

Edmond A. St. Clair, 21, of Severn was stabbed on the Princess Anne campus Saturday night. St. Clair's family has said that it took too long for police to help him and that the assailants lingered at the scene after the stabbing. Campus spokesman Bill Robinson said state police are constructing a timeline.

Police have said St. Clair was riding with his brother and another man in a car through the campus about 9 p.m. when they encountered a group of people walking in the street and got into a fight.

St. Clair's brother, Isaiah St. Clair, told The Baltimore Sun he was riding with Edmond St. Clair and friend Tre Hardy when three men stood in the road and wouldn't move. Edmond St. Clair got out to talk to the men and was stabbed in the heart, Isaiah St. Clair said.

Robinson said the campus police department was "fully deployed" during homecoming weekend and had assistance from state police. Officers from Princess Anne and the Somerset County Sheriff's Office also were on call if the university needed additional help.

State police are offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest. Police are searching for three suspects. Anyone with information is encouraged to call 410-548-1776.

Isaiah St. Clair said he and Hardy were taken to the police station for questioning, and he wasn't able to contact his mother to tell her about the stabbing until midnight or 1 a.m. Isaiah St. Clair said he didn't learn his brother had died until 8 a.m. Sunday.

State police said Isaiah St. Clair was held for hours without being able to contact his family because he was at the crime scene and was part of the investigation.

"They were trying to interview and identify all the people who were involved in the altercation," spokeswoman Elena Russo said.

Police said in a statement that they don't think the stabbing was random because it appeared to have been "the result of an argument or ongoing dispute." Because the investigation is active, Russo wouldn't elaborate further.

Friends and family described Edmond St. Clair, a junior biology major, as an aspiring doctor who enjoyed producing reggae-style music. St. Clair was born in Trinidad and moved to the United States about six years ago after his father's death. He was known in college by his DJ name, "Trini Wes," which honored his heritage and his late father. St. Clair liked music, movies and videos, and his loved ones remembered him as kind-hearted. He was awaiting the birth of his first child, a girl, in April.

School officials will hold a meeting for students at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday to provide more information about the incident and talk about how the university can move forward.

The stabbing was the second act of violence in a week involving the University System of Maryland. On Feb. 12, police say, 22-year-old Stephen Rane was shot and killed at his off-campus home in College Park. Police say Rane's housemate, graduate student Dayvon Green, killed Rane and wounded another roommate before killing himself.

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