Jasper Howard died after being stabbed outside a dance on UConn's campus.
Updated at 9:04 AM PDT on Tuesday, Oct 20, 2009
UConn and state police investigating the stabbing death of Jasper Howard are looking for all photos and video taken inside or outside the student union on the night he died.
People have been coming forward with footage from the night Jasper Howard, 20, a junior and starting corner back from Miami was stabbed outside the Student Union at around 12:30 a.m. Sunday, according to UConn police. But they are looking for more.
Mourning the Loss of Jasper Howard
UConn cornerback Jasper Howard died earlier this morning due to injuries he suffered in a stabbing outside of the student union in Storrs' campus. (Published Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009)
"This can include images that you took, or that someone else has given to you. Remember that no image is insignificant," UConn police said in a message sent to members of the UConn community.
It was during a fight between two groups after a dance sponsored by the school's West Indian Awareness Organization was evacuated because someone pulled a fire alarm, police said. The medical examiner said on Monday that Howard’s death was a homicide and he died of a stab wound to the abdomen.
More Reaction to Howard's Death
Head Coach Randy Edsall and Senior Captain Desi Cullen expressing their grief. (Published Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009)
Police have made one arrest, for interfering with an officer and breach of peace. And a Hartford attorney said he expects his client, a Bloomfield man, to be arrested in connection with the stabbing death of UConn football player
The lawyer, Deron Freeman, declined to name his client but said a search warrant was served on his client's Bloomfield home on Sunday night and UConn police have indicated they will pursue charges against the man in relation to Howard's death. Freeman said he does not know what the exact charges will be, nor what items were seized
Freeman said his client was there when Howard was stabbed, but not involved in the altercation that led to his death. His client was trying to break up the fight between his friends and about six UConn football players when Howard was killed, the attorney said.
Freeman said his client has been fully cooperating with UConn police as they investigate and voluntarily submitted to hours of questioning on Sunday.
The man has given a statement to UConn police and denies any involvement in the stabbing.
Freeman said he expects also other individuals to face charges related to Howard's death.
On Monday, students attended a vigil in Howard's memory and students will be wearing black in his honor.
“I just think it's important to celebrate his life. He was a really big part of our community, and I think it's really important to acknowledge what he was and how all of us are going to miss him so much,” Casey Duffy, a sophomore, said.
Brian Parker, a 19-year-old UConn sophomore wide receiver, was also stabbed during the fight, according to police documents. He was treated at Windham Hospital and released. At least one more teammate was with Howard and Parker when they were stabbed, UConn football coach Randy Edsall told the Associated Press.
"One had Jasper in his arms and the other was pressuring where the wound went in and had blood on his hands," Edsall said. "And those two young men are pretty deeply affected right now."
Edsall would not identify the players but said they might not be mentally ready to play when UConn has its next game Saturday against West Virginia. He would not say how many players attended the dance or saw the attack.
Police have arrested Johnny Hood, 21, of Hartford and charged him with interfering with an officer and breach of peace. An incident report says witnesses identified Hood as being involved in the altercation and gave police a false name.
Hood told police he was looking around on the ground for his gold teeth, according to police records. He was arraigned Monday. He has not been charged with Howard's death.
Just hours before the stabbing, Howard had played a major role in UConn's win over Louisville during homecoming weekend.
Howard’s football talent helped him survive life in the poorest section of Miami -- Little Haiti -- only to die in rural Connecticut. He discovered during his sophomore year of high school that he had talent for football, and could play at the next level.
Howard was the first member of his family to go to college and dreamed of playing in the NFL and taking care of his mom, a single mother of three.
“We still live in Little Haiti right now, but I think she’s doing much better with me not being home so she can just take care of my sisters,” Howard said during a recent interview with NBC Connecticut.
“All the fighting, and the being in the streets doing the wrong things came to a stop,” he told NBC Connecticut.
At 4 a.m. on Sunday, Edsall identified the body of his star corner back and the team has been in mourning ever since.
Howard was going to be a father. His girlfriend from Miami is expecting, and the team has vowed to be a part of that child's life.
“The idea he will grow up without his father tears me apart, but as Jasper looks down on us, I can promise him and his family that his son or daughter will have 105 uncles for the rest of its life,” Desi Cullen, the team captain, said.
Edsall said the team would gather memorabilia of Jasper’s UConn career for his family, including the game ball he got Saturday.
“He was a special young man. Jasper was a guy who made you smile. He made you laugh. He was a guy you loved to be around. He enjoyed life,” Edsall said.
Howard was well known for leading the Big East in punt returns last season. He had 11 tackles and a forced fumble in UConn's 38-25 win Saturday over the University of Louisville.
UConn is still expected to play their game next Saturday against the University of West Virginia.
One UConn senior started a Facebook page dedicated to finding Howard's killer and encouraging people to come forward with information. As of Monday morning, more than 5,300 people had joined in support. Someone else started a R.I.P. Jasper Howard page, which has more than 4,000 members.
Someone posted on one page that the school store is out of #6 shirts, the number Howard wore.
Over the weekend, police said no other UConn students are at risk of being attacked.
This is the first homicide associated with the school in 30 years, but the third slaying of a Connecticut college student in five months.
Annie Le, a Yale graduate student, was killed in September. Her body was found in the wall of a school lab and Raymond Clark III was charged with her murder. He is due in court for a probable cause hearing on Tuesday.
Johannah Justin-Jinich, a junior at Wesleyan, was shot and killed in May while she worked at Red and Black Cafe inside Broad Street Books, a popular bookstore near campus. Stephen Morgan was charged in her death. He is also due in court on Tuesday.