Georgia college student stabbed to death after trying to help women being harassed, groped

A Georgia student was stabbed to death after he rushed to help some female students who were being harassed and groped by a man on campus, authorities said.

Donnell M. Phelps, 19, a freshman at Fort Valley State University, had tried to intervene to help the three women outside a school cafeteria on Tuesday and ended up getting into a struggle with the suspect, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.

The suspect, identified as former student Joseph Anthony Scott, pulled a pocketknife and began stabbing Phelps repeatedly, GBI Special Agent J.T. Ricketson said at a news conference at the historically black university, about 29 miles southwest of Macon.

  Phelps was an agriculture engineering technology student from nearby Marshallville, Georgia, who graduated from Macon County High School in 2015

When Phelps realized he was severely wounded, he ran toward the campus infirmary and collapsed on the ground outside shortly after 5pm on Tuesday, Ricketson said.

Meanwhile, Scott ran toward the campus’ main entrance and knocked on the window of a small guard shack, Ricketson added.

The security officer inside, Ernest Johnson, was unaware of the stabbing and opened the door. Johnson was then stabbed multiple times.

Fort Valley State’s internship coordinator, Donavon Coley, was at the main gate and helped to separate Scott from the officer.

Coley then helped to restrain Scott until campus police arrived moments later to take him into custody, said Kenneth Morgan, the campus police chief.

Johnson was taken to a hospital and was in stable condition, school spokeswoman Pamela Berry-Johnson said on Wednesday.

‘He is going to recover from those injuries, but he was seriously injured,’ Ricketson said.

Fort Valley State University President Paul Jones speaks during a news conference on Wednesday

Authorities on Wednesday were seeking a murder warrant against Scott, 24, who was being held in the Peach County Jail following the attack.

The GBI is still investigating, with help from campus police, Ricketson said.

He added that authorities were in the process of filing two additional felony charges against Scott, who lives near the campus: aggravated assault and possession of a knife during a crime.

The knife, which had a 3.5 inch blade, was recovered by authorities, the Macon Telegraph reports.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Scott has a lawyer who could be reached for comment.

At Wednesday’s news conference, Fort Valley State President Paul Jones said ‘we are just absolutely devastated.’

‘Words cannot describe the pain that we all feel in the Fort Valley State community,’ Jones said.

The violence was likely seen by several students, Ricketson said.

‘We have a large list of witnesses who have potentially seen this,’ he said.

Grief counselors were on the campus and helping students, school officials said.

‘We will do what families do in times of loss, we will gather together to support each other through this extremely difficult time,’ Jones said.

After being stabbed, Phelps ran toward the campus infirmary (above) and collapsed on the ground outside

‘We will focus on ensuring that our students and our campus community have the support they need. Please keep our entire campus in your thoughts and prayers.’

Phelps was an agriculture engineering technology student from nearby Marshallville, Georgia, who graduated from Macon County High School in 2015, school officials said.

As a high school junior, he got involved with Fort Valley State through a summer program aimed at helping minority students learn about agriculture and potential careers in that field, school officials said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

His mentor in the summer program was Archie Williams, head of Fort Valley State’s department of engineering technology and associated professor of agricultural and biological engineering.

‘Donnell cared more about other people than he did about himself,’ Williams said in the university’s news release.

‘This is an extremely safe campus,’ Morgan said. ‘I’ve been here seven years and nothing of this magnitude has ever occurred since I’ve been here.’

The stabbings happened just four days before the university’s 75th annual commencement ceremony planned for Saturday on the campus.

Anyone with information related to the assaults is asked to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at 478-987-4545.

Source: The DailyMail

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