ECU students plan anti-violence march after off-campus shooting
(July 6, 2009)
East Carolina University students will hold an anti-violence march from Greenville’s downtown to the campus on Tuesday, July 7, one week after one of their fellow students was killed in an apparent “drive-by” shooting.
The anti-violence march will begin at 7 p.m. at The Other Place on Fifth Street and end at the cupola on the university mall, according to Brad Congleton, president of the Student Government Association.
“This event is not just for students,” Congleton said. “We’d like community leaders and community members who want to come out and show support against violence and crime to attend and walk with us.”
At the cupola, the students plan to hold a candlelight vigil and brief memorial service for ECU rising senior Edgar Landon Blackley, Congleton said.
Blackley, 21, and Charles Andrew “Drew” Kirby, 29, who managed the Michaelango’s Pizza restaurant on Fifth Street, blocks from ECU’s campus, died June 30 after being shot outside The Other Place bar and nightclub in an apparent “drive-by” shooting at approximately 2 a.m. Police report that they believe both men were innocent bystanders as someone inside a vehicle speeding past the nightclub fired multiple shots at the building.
A native of Bullock, Blackley was an industrial distribution and logistics major with a minor in business administration. His family plans to attend Tuesday’s march and memorial service.
Congleton said the SGA has been working to alert students about the march via Facebook and Twitter. They also plan to send an e-mail via the ECU student account once the final list of speakers is set.
Scott Wilkerson, campus minister, will lead the memorial service and candlelight vigil. In addition to Congleton, ECU Provost Marilyn Sheerer and ECU Student Life Associate Dean Laura Sweet plan to participate. Greenville Mayor Pat Dunn has also been invited, Congleton said.
Greenville and ECU police departments will provide an escort as the marchers make their way down Fifth Street and through campus to the cupola.
“It’s a horrible situation,” Congleton said. “We are going to do our best to take a stand against violence.”