Monday, October 19, 2009

RIP Jasper Howard

This is just senseless...

(CNN) -- Cornerback Jasper Howard called his mom Saturday night after Connecticut beat Louisville, and he was given the game-winning ball. He was thrilled.

The incident happened at 12:33 a.m., shortly after a sponsored student dance on campus.

1 of 2 Just hours later, the phone rang again. This time it was UConn football coach Randy Edsall notifying her that her son had been stabbed.

He was pronounced dead early Sunday.

"He was a good child, a wonderful, sweet, loving child," Joangela Howard told CNN affiliate WSVN. "I just hope whoever did it turns himself in. [Jasper] didn't deserve this." Watch family, friends react to loss »

Howard, a 20-year-old cornerback who started in every game for the team last season, was killed following a sponsored student dance on campus, authorities said. The junior from Miami, Florida, was a soon-to-be dad, said UConn football coach Randy Edsall.

During the dance at the university's student center, a fire alarm was pulled at about 12:26 a.m., campus police Maj. Ron Blicher told reporters. More than 300 people who were attending the dance left the building and spilled out into the street. A fight broke out between two groups of people, and Howard and an unidentified person were stabbed, police said.

The incident happened at 12:33 a.m. Howard and the other victim were taken to a local hospital. Howard was then airlifted by helicopter to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, where he later died from his injuries, police said. The second victim was treated and released.

Howard's family was in Florida, so Edsall was called in to identify Howard's body.

"There's nothing in my job description that says you have to identify bodies and you have to make phone calls to the parents, but that's part of the job," he told reporters Sunday. "I hope I never have to go through what I had to go through today."

Every life is precious but you just hate to see a young man with his whole life ahead of him be snatched away from us this way. I pray his family finds the peace through all of this.

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