WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A Howard University student was fatally shot and another student was beaten in an overnight attempted robbery in Northwest D.C., officials say.
According to DC Police, the two victims were approached by two male suspects in the 700 block of Fairmont Street around 11:40 p.m. Thursday. Once police arrived at the scene, they found the 22-year-old Omar Sykes with a gun shot wound to the chest. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The second victim was also transported with non-life-threatening injuries.
Omar Sykes was a young man with big dreams and a million watt smile. The 22-year-old had been all over the world, but he came home to D.C., to his beloved Nationals, and he died just outside the gates of the school he hoped would launch him on a career in business and marketing.
"I am totally horrified. This young man had great promise," says a neighbor who did not want to be identified.
Outside the home his mother owns in D.C.'s Brightwood community, friends remember a pleasant, polite, disciplined and ambitious young man.
There has been an uptick in violent crimes around Howard in the last few months including armed robberies and assaults on and around the campus. Police are unsure at this point whether the two men wanted for killing Sykes have preyed on other students around the school.
"I pray they catch the guy," said the neighbor who was close to Syke's mother. Sherry Sykes is reportedly out of the country, working for the State Department in Africa.
Police say one of the suspects is 5'10", 210 pounds, with a dark complexion and wearing all black. The second suspect is said to be 6'2" with a light complexion. He was wearing a white t-shirt.
Police are asking anyone with information regarding this attack to contact MPD at 202-727-9099.
Statement from Howard University:
We are deeply saddened by the passing of one our students in an off-campus incident. A second student was injured and is being treated for non-life threatening injuries. To respect the privacy of the families and to preserve the integrity of this ongoing police investigation, we are unable to share additional information at this time. Howard University Police Department is cooperating with the Metropolitan Police Department to thoroughly investigate this regrettable incident. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to members of the immediate and the campus family. Counseling and support services are available on a 24-hour basis for students who need assistance during this difficult time.