Death of Morgan Students Sparks Safety Concerns

Akira Kyles

It’s been less than a month since 19-year old Morgan State University (MSU) student, Jonathan “Johnny” Tobash was killed in an off-campus robbery. As a Baltimore native, Tobash’s death sparked city-wide conversation on the safety of college students and the places they frequent in Baltimore City.

Student-involved shootings have been causing concern among MSU’s student body for a while, but Tobash’s passing hit especially hard for students and faculty. In response to this, several student organizations have begun planning events to help grieving students.

MSU president, David Wilson also released a statement on behalf of the university, stating that the unfortunate death of this “promising student” was a true loss.

On MSU’s campus, news of Tobash’s passing came at a time when several students had already passed away during the year and was met with feelings of confusion and a sense of loss by many.

Several weeks later, an unidentified 23-year-old man was shot in the 1400 block of East Cold Spring Lane, an area just minutes away from MSU’s main campus. This area is often frequented by MSU students and is within walking distance of the university’s off-campus student housing complex, Morgan View Apartments.

The Northeastern Police Department’s homicide department was reached for comment, but declined to comment.

In the wake of Tobash’s death and other student-involved shootings, security on MSU’s campus has been noticeably more present. Speaking on student’s concerns, MSU Police Department Director, Adrian Wiggins says, students need to be mindful of their surroundings.

“It’s unfortunate what happened to Tobash and our mission is tied to student’s safety. When venturing off campus, students need to be prepared, travel in groups and have an exit strategy,” Wiggins said.

“Like I tell my own children, students should be mindful and pay attention to their surroundings and always carry identification,” Wiggins added.

Student Government Association (SGA) vice president and senior psychology major Joy Barnes along with SGA community service director and senior sociology major, Ra’kecia Page say the SGA plans to have a memorial not just for Tobash, but for all students who have passed away since last year.