A Temple University student was murdered in broad daylight on the streets of Philadelphia after he returned from his Thanksgiving break. Samuel Sean Collington was expected to graduate in a matter of months and was living in an off campus apartment. He was unpacking after returning from spending the holiday with his family when a suspected burglar attacked him. Collington was shot twice in the chest after a brief struggle.
Student shot twice in struggle with suspected burglar
The 21-year-old liberal arts student was removing his belongings from his vehicle on the street outside his North Philadelphia apartment at about 1:30 p.m. when the shooting took place.
Surveillance cameras captured footage of the incident which has not been made public. Police have not yet commented on suspects or provided any descriptions.
Collington reportedly fought the armed attacker briefly before being shot twice in the chest. He was rushed to the Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:57 p.m.
In a similar incident earlier this year, a Temple University graduate was shot and killed in an apparently random attack in Philadelphia while walking his dog.
Temple released a statement mourning the death of Collington which offered counseling services to students impacted by the killing and assuring students that steps were being taken to increase campus security.
Collington’s family also released a statement honoring their son and vowing to seek justice by working with authorities and offering a reward for assistance in finding the killer.
Violence on the rise in cities
Both of these statements decry the killing as a senseless act of violence. The Temple statement goes on to lament the rise in violent crime in Philadelphia, a trend which it associates with guns in general.
The generalized blaming of “gun violence” is somewhat deceptive, to say the least. The problem in Philadelphia has not so much to do with guns as with the people who live in Philadelphia.
1,000 firearms in the hands of rural Pennsylvanians will lead to significantly less violent crime than 100 guns in the hands of Philadelphians.
The nationwide refusal to crack down on urban crime is driving skyrocketing violent crime and murder rates in America’s cities, not a sudden surge in enthusiasm for gun ownership.
Temple can discuss its plans to establish a more secure campus but in this environment there is only so much the school can possibly do to protect another student from meeting the same fate as Collington.
For Temple, and for every other school in a major city in the United States, there is an inherent and growing risk for every student that they might become another victim of violent crime.