Philadelphia college student shot and killed as city surges past 500 homicides in 2021

A Philadelphia college student was shot and killed over the weekend, pushing 2021’s homicide numbers into record territory.

On Sunday afternoon, Temple University student Samuel Sean Collington, 21, was targeted for a robbery, during which he was shot. Collington was parking his car around 1:30 PM a few blocks from his residence and just feet from his school’s campus.

While beginning to unload his car, someone ran up behind him, causing a struggle between the two. Collington was then shot twice in the chest. He was taken to Temple University Hospital in critical condition, where he died soon after.

This death added to Philadelphia’s growing number of homicides occurring in 2021. As of Monday, there were a record 508 homicides. The previous record was held by 1990, which was a year that saw a peak in crack cocaine use.

“Our son was, and is, our hero and this senseless act crushes us,” his mother, Molly Collington said, adding that he wanted to make a difference in the world and was a person of integrity. “In his honor we will do everything to make sure there is justice for Sam.”

Charlie Leone, Temple’s executive director of public safety, spoke on the incident, saying, “This is a true tragedy in every sense of the word.” He continued, “As a father, this truly breaks my heart and is incomprehensible.”

Collington was a senior at the university, where he was studying political science. He was planning to graduate from the school’s College of Liberal Arts in the spring. He had been serving in the Office of the Philadelphia City Commissioners as a democracy fellow.

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