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Tuskegee University community honors slain football player

Dozens gathered for a candlelight vigil to honor Reginald Summage Jr.
Dozens gathered for a candlelight vigil to honor Reginald Summage Jr.(Source: Tuskegee University)
Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 6:29 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 25, 2022 at 10:18 PM CDT
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TUSKEGEE, Ala. (WSFA) - A week has passed since Tuskegee University wide receiver Reginald Summage Jr., was shot and killed.

The news came as a shock to his head coach and the rest of his team.

“It was just horrible and hurtful and just to see my team, you know, heartbroken like that and to see, Reginald laying out like that was really, really tough for me,” said head football coach and director of athletics Reginald Ruffin.

Although he was injured and unable to play in the 2021 season, Summage’s coach said he still never missed a practice. The 20-year-old is remembered for his drive and determination.

“Everybody want their kids to be like Reginald, you know, hard worker, the best smile, always, you know, upbeat, up-spirit,” Ruffin said.

His lively personality is remembered, dozens gathered for a candlelight vigil to honor the young man.

Tuskegee University Sports Information Director Jordan Benson confirmed 20-year-old Reginald...
Tuskegee University Sports Information Director Jordan Benson confirmed 20-year-old Reginald Summage Jr. was a sophomore wide receiver. According to the university’s roster, Summage graduated from Jeff Davis High School.(Credit: Jordan Benson/Tuskegee Athletics)

Candles spelling “REGGIE” flicked in the night, bringing light to a dark and tragic time.

“This young man touched the campus with so many of our students,” said Abena Myers-Taylor, Tuskegee University’s interim vice president of student affairs and dean of student life. “They loved him.”

“It was, and still is, a traumatic experience, something that we at Tuskegee University haven’t really experienced,” she added.

That is why the school is coming together. Counseling services and campus conversations have been available for those who are grieving the young man’s loss.

“For us to be able to mobilize together, as he stated, as our president, Dr. Morris, ‘One Tuskegee’ we definitely exemplified that,” Myers-Taylor said.

The university is unifying and keeping tabs on one another in order to remain strong.

A funeral service will take place in Montgomery on Saturday at 1 p.m. at True Divine Baptist Church on Troy Highway.

Police took Marquavius Lee Debro, 21, of Tuskegee, into custody on Saturday. He is charged with murder.

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