BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The FBI is investigating a fatal stabbing at the University of Maryland in College Park as a possible hate crime after investigators found ties to a racist Facebook group.
Authorities are now digging into Sean Urbanski’s social media history for answers in the stabbing of Bowie State University student Richard Collins III over the weekend.
This murder has rocked the College Park community and the Bowie State campus at the time of graduation celebrations.
Urbanski, a University of Maryland student from Serverna Park, had bail denied during a review Monday afternoon.
Collins was a Second Lieutenant in the Army, who was just days away from graduating.
“This was a good kid, and he was going places,” said pastor Darryl Godlock. “He was going places, and he had high aspirations to achieve all the goals that he set as far as his military career, and we’re just devastated that his life has been taken away with this senseless act of violence.”
Police say Urbanski stabbed Collins outside Montgomery Hall, where Collins was waiting for an Uber with two of his friends.
The two didn’t know each other, and authorities say the stabbing at first seemed random.
According to court recordings, Urbanski approached the group and said, “Step to the left if you know what’s going for you.”
Collins said no, and Urbanski stabbed him in the chest.
What authorities find troubling is that Urbanski belonged to Alt-Reich Nation on Facebook, a white supremacy group.
Investigators are trying to determine if he stabbed Collins because of his race.
“When I looked at the information that’s contained on that website, suffice it to stay that it’s despicable,” said University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell. “It shows extreme bias against women, Latinos, members of the Jewish faith, and especially African Americans.”
The UMD College Park campus has been involved in several racist incidents in recent weeks, including the posting of racist fliers on several campus buildings, and a noose found at a fraternity house.
U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) released the following statement on the murder of Collins III:
“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Richard Collins III, along with the entire Bowie State University community. By all accounts, Second Lieutenant Collins had distinguished himself academically and would have done the same in his forthcoming military service. The senselessness of this loss is deeply disturbing, as are reports that the perpetrator may have been motivated by racism. We welcome the federal role in this investigation and stand with Bowie State during this difficult time as justice is sought for this heinous crime.”
Governor Larry Hogan also released a statement on social media:
“As more details become public about the stabbing that took place at the University of Maryland on Saturday, we are devastated to learn that Richard Collins III, a Bowie State University student, was the victim of this heinous crime.
“Richard was an incredibly promising young man who – just days before – was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army and was scheduled to graduate tomorrow.
“The First Lady and I send our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones, and we are keeping the entire Bowie State and University of Maryland communities in our prayers.
“The individual responsible for this young man’s death must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Violence and hatred have no place in our communities and will never be tolerated. In the wake of this senseless tragedy, I ask that all Marylanders show strength and come together in this time of grieving.”