Last Wednesday, WCU student Selene Raynor was killed in an apparent homicide in the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia.”Our sincere condolences and heartfelt sympathy go out to the Raynor family during this very difficult time,” Matthew J. Bricketto, Vice-President for Student Affairs, said in an email message circulated around campus.
Raynor, 21, who was pregnant, was found by police in her parked Jeep around 1 a.m. Thursday morning in front of a vacant lot, the victim of a gunshot wound to the head.
According to police, Tyrell Hart, Raynor’s boyfriend, is the prime suspect in the crime.
Hart, 19, who has a criminal record that includes drug-related violantions, was charged with both Raynor’s death and that of her unborn child in addition to other offenses.
An impromptu vigil was held in the Sykes Student Union Ballrooms on Thursday evening, where many of those who knew her best were able to share their thoughts and memories of her.
“Selene was a special young lady who touched the lives of many on campus as evident by the large turnout Thursday evening,” Bricketto said.
Raynor was a third-year student in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in chemistry. She was also an active member of the WCU gospel choir, as well as the Black Student Union and the Student Activities Council. She also served as a Resident Assistant on the fifth floor of Sanderson Hall during the 2007-08 Academic Year.
“The loss of a member of the campus community touches us all and the University Counseling Center faculty members are available to assist friends and colleagues of Selene as they learn of this sad news,” Bricketto stated.
Raynor’s death comes just three months after another WCU student, Christopher Murph,y was also shot and killed in Philadelphia.
Murphy, 23, was shot in July during a robbery in North Philadelphia, even after handing over everything he had, including his wallet, his jewelry and the take-out food he had just ordered. Two 19-year-olds confessed to his murder.
Colin McGlinchey is a fifth-year student majoring in English with a minor in Journalism. He can be reached at CM646588@wcupa.edu.
Philly.com contributed to this report.