Senior Samuel Sean Collington, a political science major months from graduation, was shot and killed off-campus in North Philadelphia on November 28 after he returned from Thanksgiving break.
Collington was shot at least twice in the chest outside his college apartment in the 2200 block of North Park Avenue at 1:32 p.m during an attempted robbery.
“It’s devastating .. it could have been one of us,” said junior Mariyah Jiwanji.
Other students also reacted to the violence that unfolded on Sunday.
“It was very heartbreaking. I didn’t know Sam personally, but we shared a lot of things in common. We had the same major, we likely swiped into the same buildings on campus,” said junior Andrew Ankamah.
Ankamah is also part of an organization titled “The Accountability Initiative,” which aims to find solutions to issues that are prevalent in educational institutions.
The group held a protest against gun violence at the Bell Tower on Saturday, and invited students and community members to share their thoughts on what’s been going on, and offer ideas for combating the issue of rising gun violence.
“We shouldn’t have to fear for our lives at the place we’ve come to gain an education,” said Ankamah in a social media post.
Junior Prishita Jasani described the incident as “so terrifying. We’re supposed to be coming back, supposed to feel safe,” she said.
Collington’s murder comes at a time where Philadelphia is seeing record numbers in homicides.
The surge in violence so close to campus has some students worried about their safety.
“It’s scary to walk out, to walk outside my apartment now. I have to look around, I have to have someone on the phone,” said Jasani.
Aside from safety concerns, those who knew Sam remember him as a good student and hard worker. He also loved fishing and his family.
With ambitions to work in politics, Collington was interning for City Commissioner Omar Sabir, who says Sam had an energetic spirit and was currently working on a slew of projects at City Hall.
“Sometimes it may be a tv commercial shoot, a press conference, Sam was always there. He was a good young man that has been taken away from us far too soon,” said Commissioner Sabir.
In a statement, his mother, Molly, described her son as “kind, accomplished, and her hero.”
“Sam was an amazing person, just the best,” she said.
Heartfelt notes fill a board in the political science department, as students and professors share their thoughts and memories of collington.
#JusticeForSam, seen on many notes, echoes a plea from Sam’s mother.
“This is an injustice like no other….#justiceforSam,” she said, fighting tears.
Temple’s Political Science Society, the organization which Sam was president of, hosted a gathering on Wednesday to offer resources and support for students who may be struggling.
On Thursday, family and friends gathered at Interboro High School for a vigil in his memory.
Temple has announced enhanced safety measures in the wake of Sam Collington’s murder, with President Jason Wingard saying the campus community is standing together to address gun violence.
The university held an online forum on Thursday to share their plans with students, parents, and community members.
Measures include increasing its campus safety force by 50% and working on anti-violence initiatives.