- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 18, 2009

STORRS, Conn. — A University of Connecticut football player was stabbed to death early Sunday after an on-campus dance, hours after the team’s homecoming weekend victory over Louisville.

Jasper Howard, 20, of Miami, a junior and starting cornerback, and a second person were stabbed during a fight after someone pulled a fire alarm during a dance at the UConn Student Union, police said. The dance was not related to the game, police said.

Sunday afternoon, police were still looking for the perpetrator.

“We’re actively following investigative leads,” said Maj. Ronald Blicher of the UConn Police when asked if authorities have a suspect.

UConn students have been advised to be cautious, but Maj. Blicher said police do not believe the incident was a random act of violence.

University President Michael Hogan told the Associated Press the stabbing is a tragedy for the entire university community.

“I was in the locker room after the game yesterday. It was such a joyous moment,” Mr. Hogan said. “To go from that game and such a victory to the developments at 12:30 last night is such a tragedy.”

Police cordoned off the crime scene near the university’s Gampel Pavilion basketball arena.

Maj. Blicher said two groups were involved in the fight.

UConn police said one of its officers was approached on Hillside Road about 12:33 a.m. and said that a stabbing had occurred. Police found Mr. Howard and another person with stab wounds, university police said in a statement. The name of the second person was not immediately released.

Both were taken by ambulance to Windham Community Memorial Hospital. Mr. Howard later was airlifted by Lifestar helicopter to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, where he died from his injuries, police said. The second person was treated and released from Windham hospital.

Mr. Howard made a key move in Saturday’s game, forcing a fumble just as Louisville was about to score. The Huskies were up 21-13 at the time. They later won 38-25. Following the game, Mr. Howard, who led the Big East in punt returns last season, talked to the AP about the play.

“I felt my hand go on the ball, and I felt that I had a chance to get it out. I just stripped it out. It was a big play. We needed it,” he said.

Mr. Hogan, the university president, said the school was arranging for Mr. Howard’s mother to come to Connecticut.

“It’s such a tragedy. All I can say is how sorry we all are and how sad we all are that something like this happened in the middle of our campus,” Mr. Hogan said.

UConn police were working with a major crime squad of the state police on the case. Mr. Hogan said about 40 officers were involved.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell also visited the campus Sunday to offer her condolences.

“I have reached out to UConn President Hogan to offer him any assistance needed at this most difficult time,” she said in a prepared statement. “Beyond law enforcement, we will also make available counselors and other needed resources.”

A news conference with UConn coach Randy Edsall, Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway and other school officials was scheduled for the afternoon.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide