STORRS, Conn. – University of Connecticut officials said students planned a day of silence Tuesday in remembrance of a football player who was stabbed over the weekend, and police were asking for the public's help in gathering evidence in the killing outside a university-sponsored dance.
Police were asking students to provide any photos and videos they took outside the dance early Sunday where 20-year-old Jasper Howard was stabbed during a fight that reportedly involved several UConn football players.
UConn police said Tuesday there were no new developments in the investigation.
Nobody has been charged in Howard's death, which is the first homicide in memory on the Connecticut campus. Students planned a day of silence Tuesday, while the Black Student Association has asked everyone on campus to wear dark clothing Tuesday to indicate that the university is united in mourning. A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Wednesday.
Howard's stepfather Henry Williams said Howard loved UConn and considered the team his second family. He is asking UConn players to take a moment to grieve, and then play the rest of the season for his son.
Howard's mother, Joangila, did not speak, and had to leave the room during Williams' remarks when she was overcome with emotion.
A Hartford attorney said he expects his client to be arrested for his involvement with a fight that led to the stabbing. Attorney Deron Freeman says his client, who he wouldn't identify, and several others got into a fight "with about six" UConn football players early Sunday. Freeman said his client did not stab Howard but was present when Howard was mortally wounded.
Freeman said police had searched and removed some items from his client's home and told him his client and others will be arrested.
"(Police) have indicated to me that they expect to get a warrant for his arrest," he said. "I'm not sure if I would say that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I could say that he was not involved in the actual stabbing of Mr. Howard."
Another man, 21-year-old Johnny Hood, of Hartford, was arraigned Monday on charges of interfering with an officer and breach of peace. But he has not been charged in Howard's death, and police haven't named a suspect.
Hood is being represented by Freeman's brother, Justin Freeman. Justin Freeman said his client is a full-time dental assistant and a part-time student at Capitol Community College, who was "at the wrong place at the wrong time," and did not even know a homicide had occurred.
Another UConn player, Brian Parker of Sarasota, Fla., pointed Hood out to police at the scene. Parker, 19, a sophomore wide receiver who is academically ineligible to play this season, also was stabbed but suffered only minor injuries.
The football team was to practice Tuesday for the first time since Howard's death to prepare for this weekend's game against Big East foe West Virginia.
"It'll be good for us to be getting back on the practice field ... back to a little bit of normalcy with what we have to do," coach Randy Edsall said.
He said the players will wear the number six on the back of their helmets during the West Virginia game and partake in a moment of silence before playing.
Howard's family visited the campus and spoke to the players on Monday.
"They spoke about jas's love for each of them, for life," Edsall said, choking up. "What jas would want them to do and how to carry on. Then they went and hugged every kid."
The state medical examiner's office said Monday that Howard died from a single stab wound to the abdomen.
Howard was a junior who had come to UConn to get away from the violence on the streets of his hometown of Miami. He was the first in his family to go to college.
UConn police Maj. Ron Blicher said Howard was mortally wounded during a fight between two groups that included students and non-students. The fight broke out just after a fire alarm went off in a student center, forcing around 300 people to evacuate from a party and dance sponsored by the school's West Indian Awareness Organization.
Edsall said two other players tried in vain to save Howard's life.
"One had Jasper in his arms and the other was pressuring where the wound went in and had blood on his hands," Edsall said. "And those two young men are pretty deeply affected right now."
Sophomore receiver Kashif Moore said he was the player who held Howard until help arrived. He said he did not think his friend was going to die.
"He was like in and out (of consciousness)," Moore said. "I didn't have time to be scared."
The violence came less than 12 hours after UConn's 38-25 homecoming victory over Louisville.
Teammates and friends on Monday placed candles and flowers at the spot where Howard was killed, along with a poster that included the words "Live 365" next to pictures of Howard playing football and having fun. Outside the team's football complex, dozens of athletes and other students joined hands as punter Desi Cullen, a team captain led them in prayer.
"Value the breath you breathe," he told the crowd. "Value every day you wake up."
The team will wear a sticker with Howard's initials on its helmets for the rest of the season and will carry his helmet or jersey to away games, Edsall said.
The coach said he doesn't know if two teammates who helped Howard after he was stabbed and bleeding will play when the Huskies visit Big East foe West Virginia on Saturday. "I'll honor whatever decision they want to make," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.