The man police believe stabbed FIU football star Kendall Berry to death on the school's Modesto A. Maidique campus surrendered to authorities Friday night, according to FIU athletic director Pete Garcia.
Quentin Wyche, 22, a former teammate of Berry's at FIU, gave himself up just after 8 p.m.
People familiar with the investigation said the stabbing was sparked by an earlier incident between Berry's girlfriend and Wyche. The girlfriend had summoned Berry after encountering Wyche outside the rec center, where they had a disagreement and he allegedly threw cookies in her face.
The ensuing conflict ended with Berry's death.
Those on the FIU campus who knew best — his teammates in the football program — describe the running back as a big-hearted, easy-going young man who worked tirelessly to return from a major ACL tear.
"He never had a problem with anyone," former FIU quarterback Paul McCall said about Berry, a former star athlete at Haines City Senior High. "He never ran his mouth. Kendall was easy to get close to. He was a kind spirit and light-hearted guy."
Early Friday, FIU released a statement on its website saying that police "continue to pursue the perpetrator" and that increased security precautions are in place.
As rain fell Friday afternoon on FIU's West Miami-Dade campus, life went on for the school's students.
While reminders of the crime were everywhere — a neon X on the ground where Berry was killed, a video message from school president Mark B. Rosenberg on a university television set — students went about their daily routine. At the student center, some listened to iPods while others played Wii.
"Everyone is kind of like in shock," said Eric Fleming, 22, a junior majoring in international relations. "People usually feel safe at FIU. It's crazy how people can resort to this type of violence."
Miriam Diaz, a senior elementary education major, thinks campus security is fine, but always takes precautions.
"I feel safe on campus," Diaz said. "At night it's a little dark, so I try to go with a classmate walking around. I always see people in golf carts (FIU security personnel) riding around at night." Students returning to the dorms Friday are being escorted to their rooms and are being urged by the school to keep their doors locked. Grief counselors have met with members of the football team and on-campus residents, but classes are taking place as scheduled.
"Our hearts are heavy," Rosenberg said. "Last night, we lost a well-liked student who was a tireless worker in the classroom and on the ball field. His grief-stricken mother described Kendall as a negotiator, not a fighter."
On Thursday night, Miami-Dade police spokesman Detective Javier Baez said two men were seen arguing outside a recreation center about 9 p.m., and witnesses said one stabbed the other.
Berry died on the way to the hospital, Baez said.
Spring football practice has been suspended indefinitely. The team, which met late Friday afternoon, will certainly not practice Saturday, said FIU spokesman Paul Dodson, and no decision has been made about next Wednesday's spring game.
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