WSSU student killed in Raleigh shooting

WSSU student killed in Raleigh shooting
December 31
00:00 2015
Above: Kari Watson

By Todd Luck

The Chronicle

Winston-Salem State University is mourning one of their own again after Kari Omyea Watson was killed in a Raleigh shooting last week.

Watson, 18, was shot on the night of Dec. 23. She and Dre’Kwon Bagley had just gotten out of a car in front of Bagley’s mother’s house when a gunman opened fire on the couple, killing Watson and injuring Bagley. Xavier JaQuan Sanders, 21, has been charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill in connection with the shooting. Investigators had not disclosed the motive in the shooting as of press time.

Watson, a first-year student at WSSU, was on winter break. She was a 2015 graduate of Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School and earned one of the first Wake County Future Teachers scholarships. She made the Dean’s List her first semester at WSSU and hoped to pursue a career in education.

Though school is out at WSSU for winter break until Jan. 8, the university took to Facebook to offer condolences.

“This is a tremendous loss,” said WSSU Chancellor Elwood Robinson in the post. “I am deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred last night. We grieve for the promising young life that has been lost and share in the heartbreak of her family and friends.”

The post encouraged faculty, staff and students affected by Watson’s death to seek support during the break. The post also said counselors will be available when school reopens.

One of Watson’s WSSU instructors, Dr. Fran Oates,  posted online that Watson would come to her office often to talk about a variety of things. Oates said she was “an excellent student and an awesome young lady,” which is what Oates wrote on the final paper Watson turned in for her class.

“She WAS an angel with a kind and gentle spirit,” Oates related in the post.

The WSSU Student Government Association dedicated its most recent newsletter to both Watson and Anthony White Jr. White, 19, died in a shooting on campus during homecoming on Nov. 1. A 21-year-old former student was charged in connection with that shooting.

SGA President Kyle Brown said students are shocked and hurt to have lost another Ram in so short a time span.

“I just really wish us as young people can learn how to put the guns down at this early age and really start cherishing the life that we have,” he said.

A crowdfunding page has been started to help the family with expenses for Watson’s homegoing service, which will be Saturday, Jan. 2 in Raleigh. More than $8,000 had been raised by press time. To contribute, visit

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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