Published On: Thu, Sep 3rd, 2015

Editorial: It’s time to break the tragic silence on the ssu murder

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It’s awful enough that a 22-year-old Savannah State College student was shot to death last Thursday night during an altercation inside SSU’s Student Union in the middle of campus. Almost as awful is knowing that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation apparently is having a tough time getting eyewitnesses to the murder of Christopher Starks to come forward. Such a reluctance compounds the tragedy and adds to the injustice.Starks, a junior at Savannah State University from Stone Mountain and a former football player at Appalachian State University, died at Memorial University Medical Center after being shot at 9:15 p.m. during a fight in the university’s Student Union, said Cathy Sapp, the special agent in charge of the GBI’s local office.Sapp said the bureau is hoping that witnesses or those with information will come forward with any details to help further the investigation. At this time, there are no new leads and the GBI is still looking for a shooter, Sapp said. The unwillingness of eyewitnesses to come forward and tell police investigators what they saw at a crime scene is, sadly, a too-familiar lament in Savannah and other crime-plagued communities. Excuses abound — fear of retaliation, mistrust of police, peer pressure not to be a so-called “snitch.” Each of these excuses is ridiculous and serves only to help criminals and do a gross injustice to an innocent young man with most of his life in front of him.

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