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July 4th Tragedy

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July 2013
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The 4th of July is a day the people of America celebrate the Independence of these United States, however in Northwest DC two armed gunman decided it was the day to rob two innocent Howard University students, taking one’s life just feet from the Mecca’s gates.

Omar Sykes, a friend of The Monae Group, a 22-year-old rising senior and business marketing major at Howard University, was shot and killed Thursday night just outside the college’s Northwest Washington campus in a random robbery attempt. Friends and family and everyone here at The Monae Group, were shocked by the death of the community service-oriented young man, who always had a smile on his face and was a leader of Howard’s chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a coed service fraternity.

Sykes’s family members asked for privacy but said in a statement that they were “deeply saddened and devastated by the unexpected loss of our son and brother, Omar Adam Sykes.”

“Omar Adam Sykes, my angel I know you went with nothing but love and kindness in your heart. I love you so much baby” said his devoted girlfriend of 2 years, Kinaya Grayson. 1011231_10200883581744909_1200345052_n

“This is unacceptable,” said Teddy Hughes, who lived with the victim. “I can’t imagine anything that Omar would have done after being robbed that would have forced anybody to shoot Omar.”  Hughes and some friends had been with Sykes Thursday night at Red Lounge near 14th and U Streets, NW, celebrating the Fourth of July. The two Howard students left for Sykes’ house. He was supposed to come back, but was shot multiple times in front of a rowhouse on the same block where he lived. Sykes was in Howard’s business school and had done a summer internship at the state department three years ago. He had just turned 22 years old last Sunday and had recently blogged about his home being burglarized. He was someone friends say lived to help people.

“He had such a bright future … All he wanted to do was help people. There was not a selfish bone in the kid’s body,” Said Anthony Caudle, a close friend of  Sykes.

Friends held a vigil on the Howard University Campus Friday night at the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity Plot, an organization Sykes was a devoted member and leader.

This Senseless Violence is truly unacceptable! As a friend of Omar we are truly devastated. Omar was a great person whose dreams were snatched away for no reason. This is an unacceptable way to die! Where can we find relief in the strife between Howard University students and the Local community? This goes beyond that however, it is deep inside the mist of the black on black crime issue. How many people have to lose their lives for us to unite as a people value the lives of our African American Men?!

This is an important time for the friends, family and all those effects to love on those who love them, and that is what we have been doing here at TMG. Forgive us for any delayed responses over the weekend. We will be back and available for services Monday Morning, July 8th at 9 am.


RIP Omar Adam Sykes

The Sykes family will be hosting a Memorial Service in honor of Omar on Wednesday, July 10th at 6 p.m. The service will be held at Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel on Howard University’s campus.  In Lieu of flowers, the family is requesting  donations to establish a scholarship in Omar’s name. Donations can be made at http://www.RememberingOmar.com/


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