(ITHACA, N.Y.) — The fight on Cornell University’s campus that led to the death of an Ithaca College sophomore this weekend allegedly began from an accidental bump, according to the victim’s sister.
Nineteen-year-old Anthony Nazaire, who had just begun his sophomore year studying business administration at Ithaca College, was stabbed along with another Ithaca student during a “large fight” on the Cornell campus after a student-organized event, Ithaca College said.
Anthony Nazaire, of Brooklyn, New York, died from the stabbing, Ithaca College said. The other victim, whose name was not released, was treated and released from the hospital, Ithaca College and Cornell said.
Anthony Nazaire’s sister Kiara Nazaire told ABC-owned station WABC-TV that she heard from another student that what started the fight was a bump.
Anthony “was with his friend, his friend bumped the girl by accident, and he apologized,” Kiara Nazaire said. “Both of them apologized, even my brother apologized and didn’t bump the girl.”
But the situation seemed to escalate, and Anthony and his friend “walked away. And these cowards followed them and hit his friend,” Kiara Nazaire said. “Anthony tried to help his friend but he was hit, too,” Nazaire said.
Ithaca police told ABC News they have heard that potential reason for the altercation and are looking into it.
“I don’t understand how someone could just take someone’s life away like that,” Kiara Nazaire told WABC. “I would see killings all over the news … I never knew that it would have to be me crying over someone so close.”
Kiara Nazaire said her driven younger brother aspired to become an entrepreneur.
“Talking about the business ventures that he had planned — we used to sit there all night,” Kiara Nazaire said.
And he was the first to help her with her own business venture.
“When I found out information for me to open up my own cosmetic line and I told him, the first thing he told me was, ‘How much money I gotta send you?’ And he was away in Ithaca. That was the first thing he said,” she recalled. “And the moment I told him … he came home for the weekend, I showed him everything … a week later I had my own cosmetic line.
“Every night we would text each other ‘I love you,'” she added. “I just hope my brother finds justice.”
“My deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of Anthony Nazaire,” Ithaca College President Tom Rochon said. “He graduated from Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School, and at IC he was a member of the executive board of Brothers4Brothers, a student organization dedicated to empowering men of color on our campus.”
The Ithaca Police Department is investigating and Ithaca College said Sunday that no perpetrators had been apprehended or identified.
“Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased,” Cornell Vice President for Student & Campus Life Ryan Lombardi said.
“There is nothing more important than the safety of our community; as such, this incident is deeply disturbing,” Lombardi said. “Please be sure to take care of yourselves and each other throughout the coming days.”
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