Police launch investigation into murder of Savannah State University student

Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old student at a historic black university in Savannah, Georgia.

Law enforcement authorities currently have no suspects in the shooting death of Christopher Starks, a junior from the Atlanta area, who they say was involved in an altercation late Thursday at Georgia’s Savannah State University. He was taken to a nearby hospital before he passed away.

No one else was reported injured in the shooting. University officials said at no time was an “active shooter” situation declared, but the campus was placed on lockdown in the small hours of Friday morning.

ASU Athletics

Starks graduated in 2012 from Miller Grove High School in Lithonia, Georgia, where he competed in track and field and played football. He received a scholarship from Appalachian State and went on to become a star defensive back. After being sidelined by an injury in 2013, he transferred to Savannah State.

Nicknamed “Cooley,” Starks celebrated his 22nd birthday last week. He is survived by his parents and a younger brother, who plays football at his former high school.

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The Savannah student government association conducted a mid-day vigil on Friday to honor his memory. “This is our brother,” the association wrote on a flyer that was spread on social media. “We will stand together to mourn his loss and uplift his life.”

Many of Stark’s former classmates paid tribute to him Friday on social media:

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Grief counselors have been made available to the student body, according to Savannah State’s Facebook page.

Photo by Greg Clarke/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Dell Cameron

Dell Cameron

Dell Cameron was a reporter at the Daily Dot who covered security and politics. In 2015, he revealed the existence of an American hacker on the U.S. government's terrorist watchlist. He is a co-author of the Sabu Files, an award-nominated investigation into the FBI's use of cyber-informants. He became a staff writer at Gizmodo in 2017.