RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The VCU community mourned the loss of one of its own Friday night during a candlelight vigil on campus.
Twenty-year-old student Samuel Kwarteng was shot and killed on Thursday on the front porch at an off-campus home on West Moore Street in the city’s Carver neighborhood.
In a crowd of hundreds at VCU Student Commons, classmates could be heard wailing as they lit candles and told stories about their friend.
Tears fell, flames flickered and classmates comforted one another, all of them in disbelief at Kwarteng’s sudden death.
Of everyone there, it was Kwarteng’s younger brother who knew him best.
“He wanted to be that person whose name ends up in a textbook,” Derrick Adjei told 8News Reporter Matthew McClellan.
The student from northern Virginia was about to graduate with a degree in electrical engineering. Kwarteng was a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. The VCU chapter posted a statement on Twitter saying “this loss has hurt us all.”
Walton Williams had been close friends with Kwarteng since they were seven years old.
“Two days before the incident I was at his house, he came over, laughing, dancing … He loved to dance,” Williams said.
In the Carver neighborhood where Kwarteng was killed, police are upping patrols. VCU Police Chief John Venuti sent the following email to students Friday:
“I want to assure you that VCU is committed to ensuring the safety of our students. In response to some of the recent events near campus, VCU Police have increased patrols and officer visibility,”
“VCU Police take these incidents very seriously. VCU Police are working collaboratively with the Richmond Police Department to focus on areas on campus and in surrounding neighborhoods. Being visible on campus is a high priority for VCUPD, as it helps to deter criminal activity and puts officers in direct contact with the community.”
“Police have been coming up and down the block. There’s almost been one here every minute since this happened,” said Hannah Yaman, who lives down the street from where Kwarteng was shot to death.
The altercation that led to Kwarteng’s death took place at an off-campus home in the 1200 block of West Moore Street. The suspect, 20-year-old Emmanuel Jordan, was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter. Police said Jordan was not affiliated with VCU.
When asked about the man charged in Kwarteng’s death, his brother stopped himself from answering directly.
“What would I say to him? I’d rather just not say,” Adjei told 8News.
Williams and others said they will never forget their friend’s passion, his intellect or his enormous smile.
“He truly will be missed. He truly will. He was a great person.”
“He truly will be missed,” Williams said. “He truly will. He was a great person.”
A family friend has set up a GoFundMe account to help the family with the unexpected funeral expenses. If you’d like to help, click here.