FBI investigating stabbing death of student as possible hate crime

The FBI is investigating whether the stabbing death of a visiting black college student by a white student at the University of Maryland over the weekend was a hate crime.

Sean C. Urbanski, 22, was arrested and charged with assault and first- and second-degree murder for the death of 23-year-old Richard W. Collins III, a Bowie State University student.

Collins, who was visiting a friend at the University of Maryland at the time of his death, had recently been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army and was set to graduate on Tuesday.

According to the Associated Press, Collins was waiting for an Uber with his friends at around 3 a.m. on May 21 when Urbanski suddenly approached the group and said, "Step left, step left if you know what's good for you."

After Collins reportedly responded "no," Urbanski fatally stabbed him in the chest.

Collins was lying on the sidewalk with serious injuries when university police arrived at the scene, according to a statement. He was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead by medical staff shortly thereafter.

University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell says he asked the FBI to investigate the crime after learning Urbanski belonged to a Facebook group called "Alt-Reich: Nation," according to the Baltimore Sun.

"When I look at the information that's contained on that website, suffice it to say that it's despicable, it shows extreme bias against women, Latinos, persons of Jewish faith and especially African-Americans," Mitchell said.


Photo: Sean C. Urbanski/University of Maryland Police

In the tragic wake of Collins' death, his friends and fellow classmates have spoken out to remember the good-hearted and promising individual he was.

"He was just nice, just a good, young man all around," said Brian Douglas, who recently became close to Collins after they took a class together. "You can't find those too often in today's society."

"He wanted to be a general of the United States Army, that was his ultimate goal," Vidal Adams, a fellow Bowie State student and friend, told the Baltimore Sun. "He was the definition of a leader. I can't really say the same about a lot of people."

Ciera Sorrell, who also shared a class with Collins, said his murder has rocked the Bowie State community.

"Everyone is in disbelief," she said. "He seemed so excited to get to live his life and he doesn't have that chance anymore."

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