A Harford County man was charged with first-degree murder after the fatal stabbing Saturday of a Maryland National Guard infantryman. .
Police charged Joppa resident Joshua David Edwards, 28, with killing 32-year-old David Bryan Collins Jr. outside Excape Nightclub in the 10000 block of Pulaski Highway in Middle River early Saturday.
Spc. Collins, who had also served as a paratrooper and scout, was a member of a unit within the Maryland Guard’s 175th Infantry Regiment. A GoFundMe campaign to support his fiancée and children was launched by members of the 175th Regiment Association. He had three children and another one on the way.
“Anytime we lose one of our own, it’s one too many, and we deeply mourn over this loss,” said Maj. Kurt M. Rauschenberg, Maryland National Guard spokesman, in an email.
Collins will be remembered by his fellow National Guard members as being a “charismatic soldier with a wealth of knowledge,” Rauschenberg said.
“He was always prepared to teach, train and lead young soldiers and was ready to face any challenge head on,” he added.
Andrew Doyle, a family friend acting as a spokesman, said “there are no words” to describe the devastation of Collins’ death.
“We have lost a fiancé, a father, a son, a brother, a family member, a friend, an American Hero,” Doyle said in an emailed statement. “David B. Collins, Jr., 32, was the glue that held so much together. The love he had for his friends, family and this country was immeasurable.”
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted about the incident Monday afternoon, saying: “The First Lady and I ask all Marylanders to join us in sending our prayers to his family, friends, & all those who loved him.”
As Collins was leaving the club around 12:15 a.m., he hit Edwards with the door, and the two began arguing, according to charging documents. Edwards then asked Collins if he wanted to fight, the documents allege. At some point during the fight, the documents said, Edwards took his knife out to “scare” the victim. As the two fell to the ground, Edwards accidentally cut off his right pinky finger and then stabbed Collins, according to the documents.
Bystanders, who police said were friends with Collins, tried to stop the fight and pull Edwards off him, according to the documents. Edwards then fled in a car with another man, the documents allege. Collins was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he later died.
Police said they found Edwards after he called 911 to his home in the 200 block of Kershaw Court in Joppa because he was bleeding profusely from his severed finger. The charging documents said the department also put out a notice for officers to be on the look out for a gray Honda Accord, which was in the driveway when they arrived.