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Freshman and football player killed in off-campus shooting-vigil held in his honor

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Family, loved ones, and members of the Eagle Community gathered together Tuesday evening for a vigil in remembrance of student-athlete Trevor VanDyke, who was killed March 2, in an off-campus apartment shooting.

VanDyke, 20, was a freshman at North Carolina Central University. This would have
been his first year playing football. However, as a result of an injury, his opportunity to play was put on hold.

“He was an amazing young man,” N.C. Central football Coach Trei Oliver said. “He was fighting a knee injury. Most guys would have walked around with a chip on their shoulder, but Trevor fought and came to work
every day never complaining, great attitude. He touched one-hundred and twenty guys.”

Not only was VanDyke an incredible athlete, but he also took his academics seriously.

“He was an outstanding member of Eagle Academy [and] such a genuine soul and well-mannered,” Aspiring Eagle Academy director Kwenishia Price said. “He always had a sense of humor. Not only was he committed to the Eagle Academy, he was committed to the game of football.”

Those closest to VanDyke remain devastated by the tragic realization of his death. Friends describe VanDyke as an exemplary athlete, student, and friend and his legacy of commitment and compassion will live on.

“The first time I met Trevor, we found out we were from South Carolina,” VanDyke’s best friend and teammate Errius Ishmal said. “It was like we knew each other before we knew each other. The last couple of convos we had, he would always ask me how I’m doing and were talking about our futures, and I told him that we were both destined for greatness”

In the presence of apparent agony in the room, the vigil ended on a positive note as N.C. Central Chancellor Johnson Akinleye gave his closing remarks of hope and encouragement for the future.

“He touched everyone in this room, through his smile his kindness and passion for athletics for his friends and love for his institution,” Akinleye said. “Trevor would want us to be strong and for us to learn from his life. He would want us to lead by example. Let us remember Trevor, let us celebrate his achievements.”

The Durham Police Department was unavailable for comment at the time of publication. The investigation into the details pertaining to the shooting remains open.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Investigator J. Mitchell at (919) 560-4440 ext. 29335 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers

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