A freshman at Fort Valley State University, Donnell M. Phelps, was stabbed to death after coming to the aid of three female students who were being harassed by a man outside the on-campus cafeteria on Tuesday.
Phelps tried to intervene to help the three women, but wound up getting into a struggle with the suspect, former student Joseph Anthony Scott.
Scott pulled out a pocketknife and began stabbing Phelps repeatedly, Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent J.T. Ricketson said. After realizing that he was severely wounded, Phelps ran towards the campus health center and collapsed shortly after.
Meanwhile, Scott ran towards the campus’s main entrance and began stabbing Ernest Johnson, the security officer inside.
Ricketson said that Fort Valley State’s internship coordinator, Donavon Coley, was at the main gate and helped separate Scott from the officer. Coley then restrained Scott until police arrived moments later to take him into custody, said campus police chief, Kenneth Morgan.
Johnson was then taken to a hospital and was in stable condition, school spokeswoman Pamela Berry –Johnson said today.
Authorities are currently seeking a murder warrant against Scott who was being held in the Peach County Jail after the attack.
The GBI is still investigating with the help from campus police, Ricketson said. He noted that authorities were in the process of filing two additional felony charges against Scott: aggravated assault and possession of a knife during a crime.
At a news conference today, Fort Valley State President Paul Jones said, “We are just absolutely devastated. Words cannot describe the pain that we all feel in the Fort Valley State community”.
“We will do what families do in times of loss, we will gather together to support each other through this extremely difficult time, Jones said. “We will focus on ensuring that our students and our campus community have the support they need. Please keep our entire campus in your thoughts and prayers.”
Phelps, 19, was an agriculture engineering technology student from Marshallville, Georgia.