The campus and greater community of NC A&T University have been stunned by the homicide of sophomore and Aggie line backer, Jermane Clark, who was shot late Tuesday night near his home on Stedman Street.
Students and neighbors have been placing flowers, balloons and letters near the spot where Clark was shot. Many of the items are inscribed with Clark’s jersey number, 52.
A local church held a memorial service for Clark on campus in an outdoor area known as Bluford Circle at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Pastor Bill Russell leads the college ministry at One Church Assemblies of God and coordinated the event.
“As campus ministry leader, it’s saddening to see any student lose their life, especially to violence,” said Russell.
Russell said that many of the students in his ministry attend NC A&T and the some of those students knew Clark. On Tuesday night, he and some of the students were together playing the card game Phase 10 when word of Clark’s shooting started pouring in through social media outlets. The distraught students began to pray together and decided they wanted to host a similar prayer session on campus the following day,
Russell and students in the church reached out to campus ministries and announced the memorial event on Twitter and Facebook.
Brianne Alston, a sophomore at A&T and High Point native, was moved by the service and felt that the songs performed by the campus gospel choir “made the atmosphere more humble and honorable.”
The rain cleared just before 5 p.m. and about 200 students attended the memorial service. Members of the football team in attendance were very emotional and initially too distraught to speak. Eventually three teammates came forward to share memories of Clark and spoke about how he had a big heart.
The emotions of Clark’s death have been compounded by the stress felt by students in the midst of exams. Russell expressed sympathy for his students, “It’s very devastating because this is a hard time for our college students. They are getting ready to go into exams and finals, so the fact that they are hit with this during a time like this is very devastating.”
“The mood has been hectic,” said Alston. “All of this is happening at once.”
Councilman Jamal Fox released a statement on Wednesday in response to the student athlete’s murder. “On behalf of Greensboro City Council, I would like to offer our deepest thoughts and sympathies to the Clark and the NC A&T families.”
Fox also voiced his commitment to make Greensboro a safer city through violence prevention and stated, “Greensboro residents have a right to be safe at home, at school, and in their neighborhoods. ”