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Demonpenz
10-19-2009, 12:25 PM
UConn football player stabbed to death; police on the hunt for killer
Football player stabbed outside campus dance
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By Joe Perez
GateHouse News Service
Posted Oct 19, 2009 @ 02:03 PM

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Storrs, Conn. — University of Connecticut cornerback Jasper Howard was killed early Sunday, the victim of an on-campus stabbing hours after the Huskies’ homecoming victory over Louisville.

Howard, 20, was attending a school-sponsored dance at the Student Union on Saturday night when a fire alarm was pulled, forcing the evacuation of the students. Outside the venue, an altercation broke out between two groups, during which Howard and an unidentified victim, also a University of Connecticut student, were stabbed.

“We have lost a brother, a teammate, a great person, a mentor and just somebody you love to be around,” football coach Rnady Edsall said at a press conference.

Campus police were notified of the stabbings at 12:33 a.m. Sunday, seven minutes after the alarm was pulled, and both victims were taken to a hospital.

Howard, of Miami, Fla., was then taken by Life Star to another hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Edsall, several teammates and fellow students gathered at St. Francis to await news of Howard’s condition. Edsall said he arrived about 1:30 a.m. and spoke with Howard’s mother to keep her abreast of developments. He was later called to identify the body at about 4:30 a.m. and notify the Howard family.

“There’s nothing in my job description that says you have to identify bodies,” Edsall said with a tone of disbelief.

Stabbing unplanned

Maj. Ronald Blicher of the UConn police said the motive behind the attacks is unknown, but the attacks do not appear premeditated. Blicher noted that while the suspect is at large, there is “no specific reason to believe he is a danger to our community.”

“That will be the subject of the continuing investigation, but there’s no indication that this was premeditated from inside the dance,” he said.

The groups involved in the altercation, Blicher said, were made up of UConn students and non-UConn students. He did not disclose how many witnesses might have seen the stabbings or how many people the police have spoken with.

Adding to the tragedy, Howard’s girlfriend is expecting the couple’s first child, Edsall said.

Hours before his death, Howard played a key role in UConn’s 38-25 victory over Louisville. He registered 11 tackles and forced a fumble, which he recovered, that led to a Huskies field goal on the ensuing possession. Edsall awarded Howard with the game ball.

Sad day

“It’s safe to say this has been one of the most difficult and saddest days that we’ve experienced in our football program, our division of athletics and our University of Connecticut community,” UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway said. “It’s amazing to look back over the roller-coaster of emotions, from the jubilant locker room after a big win (Saturday) in which Jasper was such a big part of that celebration, to 12 hours later when we were in the hospital to learn this news.”

Growing up in a tough neighborhood in Miami, Howard became the first member of his family to attend college. He contemplated dropping out of college to support his family.

Howard was an All-Dade County (Fla.) selection in his senior year at Miami Edison High School. Howard was named the MVP of the Nike Dade-Broward All-Star Game after registering a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 45-yard touchdown reception.

Howard had 35 tackles this season and 16 punt returns for 146 yards. He had made 18 career starts. Edsall said the team will add something to its uniforms to pay tribute to Howard through the remainder of the season. A permanent memorial will be erected inside the team’s training complex.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound cornerback was an exploratory major.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell met with university President Michael Hogan and offered her support.

“My heart and my prayers go out to Jasper Howard’s friends and family — and to his football family: his teammates, Coach Edsall and the staff of the Huskies,” she said in a statement.

“I have reached out to UConn President Hogan to offer him any assistance needed at this most difficult time. Beyond law enforcement, we will also make available counselors and other needed resources.”

The other victim was treated and released.

Hydrae
10-19-2009, 12:28 PM
They killed the football? Damn


BTW, repost