The day began with FIU president Mark
B. Rosenberg saying his school "will not rest" until the person
responsible for the stabbing death of running back Kendall Berry was
Ending a frantic search that put an entire
university on edge, Miami-Dade police said Friday night that Quentin
Rashad Wyche, 22, had turned himself in to authorities, roughly 24 hours
after Berry was stabbed outside the school's recreation center.
Later, police said Wyche would be charged with
second-degree murder and held without bond. Wyche was in training camp
with FIU's football team last summer, though his name does not appear on
the team's 2009 roster.
"Kendall had an infectious personality," FIU
football coach Mario Cristobal said Friday before the arrest was
announced. "He was loved and respected by everyone who had the privilege
of knowing him. It was truly an honor to have known and coached
Kendall. It's a shame to lose such a young life to an act of senseless
Investigators said Berry and Wyche got into a
"verbal dispute" and Wyche pulled out an unknown sharp object and
stabbed Berry around 9 p.m. Thursday night. It was unclear what the
dispute was about.
Wyche was in custody Friday night and it was
not immediately known if he had an attorney.
Wyche's arrest ended a day where the FIU
community was on high alert. Increased security for students and grief
assistance were available, and Berry's football teammates were meeting
with counselors. Students living in residence halls were advised to keep
doors locked, and any person at the university was offered protective
escorting if desired.
"Our hearts are heavy," Rosenberg said in a
video statement to the university community Friday morning.
Berry will be remembered in a "celebration of
life" at FIU's basketball arena on Monday afternoon.
"The FIU football team and FIU community
suffered a tremendous loss. … We will come together and help each
other overcome this tragedy," Cristobal said.
The campus opened as usual Friday and classes
and other events took place as scheduled. The recreation center was closed
until noon, and reminders of the crime — police tape stuffed into a
trash can, an orange "X" spray-painted on the ground – were left behind
near the front doors.
Spring football, which was to conclude
Wednesday, is postponed indefinitely.
Those who knew Berry best said it wasn't like
him to be caught in a heated situation.
"To talk about him as a football player would
underscore him," Berry's high school coach, Bill Buldini told The
Associated Press. "As great as a player as he was for us, he was a great
person. He was a good kid. Never had any problems with Kendall. Never
got in any trouble. I used to tell kids, if you were looking for a role
model, look at Kendall Berry."
FIU student Freddy Chica, 23, said he was
inside the recreation center Thursday night when he noticed a commotion.
Shortly afterward, he said he saw Berry drop to the ground in a chaotic
scene. Chica said he saw a man check Berry for a pulse and start CPR,
then saw another person begin resuscitation attempts. He said he also
saw paramedics arrive.
"When they ripped his shirt off, I noticed
that the shirt was full of blood," Chica said.
When paramedics put Berry on the stretcher,
his hands fell to the side and his head moved sideways, Chica said.
"I can't get that picture out of my head," he
Berry finished last season with seven
touchdowns, six of them rushing. He had seven brothers and sisters, FIU
"In our sorrow, we must come together,"
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