HBCUs Mourn Four Students Killed Over Labor Day Weekend

HBCUs Mourn Four Students Killed Over Labor Day Weekend

As the investigation continues into the tragic murder of Norfolk State University student Jahari George, the historically black college has implemented new safety measures. Meanwhile, the local community and parents are galvanizing support to prevent future violence. George is one of four HBCU students killed over the Labor Day holiday weekend.


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HBCUs Mourn Fallen Angels

Morehouse College, Norfolk State University, and Virginia State University are grieving the loss of multiple students killed over the Labor Day weekend. The devastating news has left the HBCU community in mourning and searching for ways to honor the legacies of these bright young individuals.

A deadly Labor Day weekend of 2023 brought grieving and pain to three Historically Black Colleges. Norfolk State University mourns the loss of 20-year-old Jahari George, who fell victim to a senseless act of gun violence. Morehouse College suffered the loss of Hugh Douglas and Christion Files Jr., both Class of 2025 students, in a fatal car crash.  In addition, Virginia State University grieves the loss of 20-year-old Adrionna Brooks West, who tragically passed away after a fatal shooting.

Norfolk State University Implements Safety Measures

Norfolk State University (NSU) has taken decisive action to enhance campus safety as the investigation into the murder of Jahari George is ongoing. 

Key safety measures recently put into effect include the closure of gates to vehicular traffic after hours. The state-funded campus, which has multiple entry points protected only by open, moveable barriers, will be restricted to a single point of entry manned by campus police during nighttime hours.

Campus foot and undercover patrols have also been increased. This augments established safety measures which include numerous “Blue Light” alert checkpoints on campus and an emergency alert app used by students called “Everbridge.”

NSU And Local Neighborhood Watch Initiative

Norfolk State University officials are expected to meet with members of the community board this month to explore a joint neighborhood watch program. This initiative would facilitate cooperation between local residents and students, enabling them to work collaboratively with law enforcement in identifying potential perpetrators and promptly reporting imminent threats.

Updated By: Yasmine Duhé (9/7/23 at 6:07 pm)

Jahari George: GoFundMe Set Up For Family Of Late Norfolk State Student

A GoFundMe has been set up for the family of late Norfolk State University student Jahari George, who tragically lost his life in an off-campus shooting over Labor Day weekend. The goal is set at $15,000, and donations have already surpassed $10,000.

In Memory of Jahari George

After a heartbreaking trail of tragic losses at HBCUs Norfolk State University, Morehouse College, and Virginia State University, a GoFundMe has been created for NSU student Jahari George’s family. 

The fundraising campaign, organized by Erica Moore, aims to raise funds for George’s funeral and memorial expenses. The goal is set at $15,000, and donations have already surpassed $10,000 since the campaign’s creation on September 4.

George, a 20-year-old engineering student from Maryland, was described as a “wonderful young man with an amazing light” on the GoFundMe page. He was known for his compassion, love, and care for others. George’s untimely death is one of the devastating losses suffered by the HBCU community during the holiday weekend.

Updated By: Chris Samuel (9/6/23 at 6:15 pm)

Jahari George

Norfolk State University is grappling with the loss of Jahari George, a promising student whose life was cut short due to a tragic shooting on Gatehouse Road near the NSU Campus. Just 20 years old, George was known for his passion for social justice and intellectual conversations. NSU expressed their grief:

“Today we reflect upon Jahari, who was loved and nurtured by his parents and younger sister, and take time to focus on his impact on the campus community. Jahari George was a goal-oriented person who weaved his passion into everything he did. He was passionate about social justice and loved to delve into intellectual conversations about how to move forward in life. His life was destined to be one of greatness, but it was cut short by a senseless act. As Spartans, we must commit ourselves to creating an environment that not only protects each other but also fosters an environment where our students, faculty and staff can thrive.”

Throughout his time at NSU, George held multiple leadership roles, exemplifying his dedication to making a positive impact including: 

  • Public Relations Manager for the 2023-2024
  • Student Government Association
  • Member of the 2023 Spartans’ Promise to Persist with Purpose
  • Summer Enrichment Program
  • Presidential Scholar
  • Part of the Robert C. Nusbaum Honors College National Society for Black Engineers
  • Treasurer for the NSU Swim Club
  • Media Director for the Student Government Association

Christion Files Jr. & Hugh Douglas

Morehouse College is also dealing with immense sorrow following the loss of Hugh Douglas and Christion Files Jr. in a fatal car crash. Both students, part of the Class of 2025, were described as exceptional individuals who left a lasting impression on the Morehouse community. 

Kevin Booker, the Vice President for Student Services and Dean of The College, highlighted: 

“Hugh and Christion were not just friends but also roommates during their sophomore year, and their loss is deeply felt by all of us in the Morehouse family. During these difficult times, we must come together as a community to remember and celebrate the lives of Hugh and Christion. They leave a legacy of excellence, passion, and dedication that will continue to inspire us all.”

Both Files Jr. and Douglas were studying business administration with a concentration in finance and marketing. Additionally, both students were members of the Morehouse Business Association

Remembering Christion FIles Jr.

Christion Files Jr. was recently named co- captain for the Morehouse track and field team. Files also had a passion for photography and videography and served as the media chair for the Junior Class Council.

Remembering Hugh Douglas

Hugh Douglas was an AltFinance Fellow as well as a Goldman Sachs Fellow who recently completed a prestigious internship in Los Angeles. Hugh is also the son of former defensive end, Hugh Douglas.

Details of The Incident

According to the Georgia State Patrol, the crash occurred around 5 p.m. off Church Street and Linwood Avenue in East Point, Georgia. Troopers reported that Files was trying to pass another car in the curve at a high rate of speed when the car left the road. Files’ car hit two power poles and overturned. Both Files and Douglas died at the scene.

The impact of the loss extends beyond the campuses of Norfolk State University and Morehouse College. Students, faculty, and staff members have been deeply affected by the sudden deaths of these young individuals. 

Counseling services have been made available to support the grieving community and provide a space for healing and reflection.

​​Tragic Shooting Claims Life of VSU Student in Petersburg

In another heartbreaking incident that unfolded on Sunday, September 3, Adrionna Brooks West, a 20-year-old Virginia State University (VSU) student hailing from Chester lost her life in a fatal shooting. Law enforcement swiftly responded to the incident, resulting in the arrest of a male juvenile on charges of murder and related offenses.

The harrowing incident transpired around 11 p.m. on September 3, when authorities received reports of gunfire in the 700 block of High Street, Petersburg. Upon their prompt arrival at the scene, officers discovered the lifeless body of West.

Juvenile Suspect Arrested & Facing Serious Charges

The local police department wasted no time in taking a male juvenile suspect into custody shortly after the shooting. The suspect now faces grave charges, including first-degree murder, three counts of shooting into an occupied vehicle and using a firearm in the commission of a felony. 

Authorities are diligently investigating the circumstances surrounding this devastating incident.

VSU President Offers Support to Grieving Community

In the wake of this senseless tragedy, the President of Virginia State University expressed deep sorrow over the loss of West and has issued a media release, extending its condolences to the grieving family and offering grief support services to the Trojan Community:


“Every student contributes to the community we create together at Virginia State University,” the letter from President Makola M. Abdullah read. “The loss of this member of our community saddens us deeply. We stand in solidarity at the most sad and difficult time and ask everyone in our community to support each other.”

Howard University Mob Attack

The tragic events at Morehouse College, Norfolk State University, and Virginia State University reflect the difficult reality that students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) face. This somber news comes in the wake of a separate incident at Howard University, where students were targeted and injured in a violent attack.

Originally Written By: Kynedei Iman Hobbs

  • Yasmine Duhé

HBCU




Written by Yasmine Duhé

Yasmine Duhé, a Louisiana native, has always harbored a deep passion for music. She possesses a fervent love for creating and producing imaginative content that can be enjoyed by all.


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