Vigil held for slain Howard University student

Family, friends, and members of the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity, Inc. in front of the fraternity\'s tree on The Yard at Howard University for a candlelight vigil to honor murdered student Omar Sykes. (WTOP/Thomas Warren)

WASHINGTON – A community remembered an area college student murdered on the Fourth of July. Howard University student Omar Sykes, 22, was shot and killed during a street robbery near campus Thursday night. A second student walking with Sykes was beaten and taken to the hospital with injuries that are thought to be non-life-threatening. D.C. Police believe it was a random robbery attempt.

The victim’s friends at Howard University were shaken up and in disbelief. As the Founder’s Library bell rang at 9 p.m., they prayed for Sykes. Members of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity serenaded their brother. The Junior marketing major was remembered for his giving nature.

Jennifer Jenkins, Howard Alum class of 2006, knew Sykes since he was 12 years old. “As an educator you come across students and individuals who you just know can change the world if they want to, and Omar could literally do that with his smile,” Jenkins said. “Caretaker of his nephew. Just amazing role model for anybody who was coming after him.”

Police believe two men with guns tried to rob Sykes and the other student late in the evening of the Fourth. Police report Sykes had multiple gunshot wounds. Sykes turned 22 just a week ago.

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