(PHILADELPHIA) — A “thriving” Temple University student months away from graduating has been gunned down near the school’s Philadelphia campus.
Samuel Collington, a 21-year-old senior, was shot Sunday afternoon, the university said, becoming one of more than 500 people killed in Philadelphia this year.
He was taken to Temple University Hospital where he was pronounced dead less than 30 minutes later from gunshot wounds to the chest and back, Philadelphia police said. No arrests have been made, police said.
Charlie Leone, the university’s executive director of Public Safety, called Collington “a bright and thriving political science student” who “already was succeeding in his field, interning as a Democracy Fellow with the city.”
He was set to graduate this spring.
“This is a true tragedy in every sense of the word,” Leone said in a statement Sunday, adding that Collington’s slaying “further highlights the senseless gun violence that continues to grip the city of Philadelphia.”
Last week Philadelphia reached 500 homicides for the year, tying the record set in 1990 for the sixth-largest city in the country.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement, “We will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners and other stakeholders to get ahead of the violent crime that is plaguing our beautiful communities. We remain committed to proactively patrolling neighborhoods and encourage community members to continue to work alongside the police.”
Outlaw told ABC News chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas earlier this month that Philadelphia has a gun culture problem.
“We’re on pace to get 6,000 illegal crime guns off the street this year; we’ve made a record number of arrests for carrying guns illegally,” she said. “We’re dealing with a culture here, there’s a culture of violence that we are trying to break through.”
Leone said Temple senior officials spoke with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s office on Sunday. He said the university is “intensifying our work with the city, community groups and the Philadelphia Police Department to further enhance safety in and around the Temple community.”
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