MIAMI -- More than 1,000 people gathered Monday in U.S. Century Bank Arena at Florida International University (FIU) to celebrate the life of football player Kendall Berry, who was stabbed to death outside the front doors of the campus recreation center last Thursday. Berry, 22, was a junior from Haines City, FL, who played running back on the school’s football team.
At the memorial service, FIU President Mark Rosenberg called on the audience to join hands “in solidarity against senseless violence.”
Berry died from a stab wound after an alleged altercation with fellow student Quentin Rashad Wyche ended in violence. Wyche reportedly fled the scene, then turned himself over to police on Friday night. He was later charged with second-degree murder and held without bond. Investigators said Wyche threw cookies at Berry’s girlfriend, which sparked the argument. Berry died at the hospital of a single stab wound to the stomach.
Miami-Dade law enforcement interviewed at least eight witnesses to the incident, according to The Miami Herald. Eyewitness accounts on a Huffington Post blog said Berry was playing a pick-up basketball game in the rec center the evening he was killed.
The rec center was closed immediately following the incident, says Robert Frye, director of recreation services at FIU. Instead of opening at 6 a.m. the following day, the rec center remained closed until noon. Frye says some rec center staff members already have met with representatives from the university’s counseling center, and that the entire staff is scheduled to meet with counselors today.
At the memorial service, Berry’s father cautioned against further violence.
“I know this will be hard to believe but that was the very first fight that kid got in. The very first one,” Berry’s father, Derrick Spillman, said at the service. “It only takes one time, people.”