May 11th, 2009
09:41 AM ET

Graduation celebration turns fatal


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/11/art.vert.crime.jason.jpg caption="Javon Jackson, 23, was shot and died off campus while celebrating his graduation from the University of Buffalo." width=292 height=320]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Javon R. Jackson graduated from college on Saturday. Police say he was murdered on Sunday.

Hours before he was gunned down, the 23-year-old received a Bachelor’s Degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He majored in electrical engineering. The school says he was also a member of the Order of the Engineer, a national engineering ethics society.

According to police and published reports, Jackson was celebrating his graduation in the early hours of Sunday morning. He and the others were near the campus, on Main Street near Highgate Avenue at 3:15 a.m. when four men approached the group. One of the men opened fire, fatally wounding Jackson.

The killer shot his victim in the back before fleeing the scene. Authorities are asking for help in finding the assailant.

A moment of silence in the memory of Jackson is scheduled for Monday morning at the University. In a statement, the school’s President said "The University is deeply saddened by this tragic loss. Our hearts go out to Javon's family and friends."

Mayor Bryon W. Brown is asking for the public’s help, telling the Buffalo News “we want people who know anything about this incident to search their hearts and come forward.”

He also added “there’s a family making funeral arrangements for a 23 year-old college gradate on Mother’s Day.”

If you have any information please contact the Buffalo Police Department’s tip line at 716-847-2255.

Javon R. Jackson is now the 17th homicide victim in the city in 2009.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Tim

    This was drug related plain and simple. We all know that black men love trouble.

    May 11, 2009 at 11:52 pm |
  2. Amanda

    This is devistating. My mother and our family know Javon's mother and her family. This is heartbreaking to everyone. I don't know who the sick people are who do this but they should suffer a long time. He could have really been AMAZING.

    May 11, 2009 at 9:39 pm |
  3. Ron

    It is very tragic and very sad. The last few weeks everyone was freaking out about the deaths from H1N1 but if something killed people like the violence going on I wonder if people would freak out about that. Where is the outrage?

    May 11, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  4. Lisa

    The real man is the one in the picture, holding the diploma.
    My deepest sympathy for the family.

    May 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  5. Janie

    What a sad story! I hope those responsible are found and get the book thrown at them.

    May 11, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  6. Brandi

    How sad. The kid with a real future is murdered by worthless cowards!! This world makes me sick anymore! I hope the killers are found and justice is prevailed.

    May 11, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  7. yokatta

    What a tragic waste of a life. My heart breaks for his family ....

    May 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  8. ronvan

    AMERICA! What have we come to? A young man just getting ready to start his life is killed by some low life non humans. This is getting much to common within our nation.

    May 11, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  9. Jessica

    Words can not express how sad this is. I pray God will help all family and friends of this young man.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  10. Joyce E Neal, Antioch, TN

    Again, there is a parent out there who knows that their child is a killer.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  11. Gabrielle Lynn

    It is horrible how people can murder, kill, and rape others without thinking twice.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  12. GH

    As a person of color who's said this for years: It's time for the military to crush these street gangs. They outnumber and outgun local police, terrorize communities and slaughter the innocent, particularly those like this outstanding young man who would've been a pillar of his community. Granted, we don't know what Mr. Jackson was doing at half past three in the morning on campus. But if it's true that "only the good die young," it shouldn't repeatedly be at the hands of violent thugs who have no respect for anything outside of their numbers and who - assuming these gunmen were also of color - help tarnish the image of minorities in American society.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  13. April

    A lot of times people make comments about black people and how they are always out to be thugs, or all they know is violence and drugs. Here we have a young black man who beat the odds, went to college, and not only graduated, but graduated with a degree in a very tough field. There you have it, people. Not ALL black people are violent, or ghetto. Some do rise above the circumstances and become great people!

    May 11, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  14. tkm

    Words cannot even express how sad this makes me feel. This ruins my day 🙁 RIP You're in a better place.

    May 11, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  15. Krystal

    That is right, they are a bunch of cowards. They were just 'hating' on this young man because he was making something out of himself to better his life and they're stuck always hustling to get anywhere. I just hate to see another young black man loose his life by trying to do some good with themselves. There are so very few like him now-a-days that are trying to get somewhere. My thoughs and prayers are with the family and close friends of this awsome young man.

    May 11, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  16. cbj

    I sorry to here this. just when he getting his life together with school. to his family stay strong

    May 11, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  17. Marvin Bing

    I Pray that the people who did this are caught, and the laws of Justice prevail. I also pray that the family of this young man remain strong in the midst of this tragedy.

    May 11, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  18. martinez

    This is a very tragic moment for javon's mom. i just hope who ever read's this send pray's to the family for comfort. i am so sorry that this happen i hope the killer will be caught an justice will be servered.

    May 11, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  19. E.S.O...

    This is very tragic. My heart goes out to the family. The events of that day and to follow are more than a nightmare. They are all in my prayers and I hope this is not a cold case. I hope people in the city will have enough of a heart to do the right thing and get the men responsible for this heinous act off the streets and in court where justice can be served. This man was doing the right thing with his life and he was going somewhere ...this is truly heartbreaking 🙁

    May 11, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  20. Sehar P.

    This is terrible. Our condolences to the family. RIP Javon.

    May 11, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  21. Andy Foreman

    Here was a young man making something of his life, an example for all those who might follow in his footsteps...

    And four "bad" brotha's come up with one shooting him? Find them, and give them the justice they deserve – exactly what they gave to such a fine young man as Javon Jackson. Take them out and shoot them!!

    May 11, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  22. monica

    this is just another sad story of a black man trying to do something with himself and being shot down.
    this is just another sad ending to what could have been a grand life.

    May 11, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  23. coveyhill

    my condolences to the family,
    cowards, all of them , hope this is resolved quickly .
    nobody can run from the long arm of the law.
    just a canadian mom, who would hope that something so senseless
    would not happen in her home town , or anywhere else for that matter.

    May 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  24. BRENTW

    i personally would be the ax-man for there executions...cowards

    May 11, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  25. Richp

    Four more COWARDS, it takes a real man to walk up and kill someone in cold blood and then run away, may the cowards to committed this act receive the same.

    May 11, 2009 at 11:49 am |

    This is a pitiful shame and a serious crisis in our country. A young black man, finished his degree, entering engineering, which is NOT common for African Americans, and he is gunned down by who?? Another black male, I will safely presume.

    My heart and prayers go out to this family, making plans on Mother's Day to bury their college graduate.

    What a shame.

    May 11, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  27. Geline

    That is so awful. It's so heartbreaking. I hope the killers be found soon to bring justice to Javon's death. My condolence to his family 🙁

    May 11, 2009 at 11:04 am |