STORRS - (AP) - A University of Connecticut footballplayer was stabbed to death early Sunday after an on-campus dance,hours after the team's victory over Louisville.
Jasper Howard, 20, of Miami, a junior and starting cornerback,and a second person were stabbed during a fight after someonepulled a fire alarm during a dance at the UConn Student Union,police said. The dance was not related to the game, police said.
Sunday afternoon, police were still looking for the perpetrator.
"We're actively following investigative leads," said MajorRonald Blicher of the UConn Police, when asked if authorities havea suspect.
UConn students were being advised to be cautious, but Blichersaid police do not believe the incident was a random act ofviolence.
University President Michael Hogan told The Associated Press thestabbing is a tragedy for the entire university community.
"I was in the locker room after the game yesterday. It was sucha joyous moment," Hogan said. "To go from that game and such avictory to the developments at 12:30 last night is such atragedy."
Police cordoned off the crime scene near the Storrs university'swell-known Gampel Pavilion basketball arena.
Blicher said two groups were involved in the fight.
UConn police said one of their officers was approached onHillside Road around 12:33 a.m. and told that a stabbing hadoccurred. Police found Howard and another person with stab wounds,university police said in a statement. The name of the secondperson was not immediately released.
Both were taken by ambulance to Windham Community MemorialHospital. Howard was later airlifted by Lifestar helicopter to St.Francis Hospital in Hartford, where he died from his injuries,police said. The second person was treated and released fromWindham hospital.
Howard made a key move in Saturday's game, forcing a fumble justas Louisville was about to score. The Huskies were up 21-13 at thetime. They later won 38-25. Following the game, Howard, who led theBig East in punt returns last season, talked to the AP about theplay.
"I felt my hand go on the ball and I felt that I had a chanceto get it out. I just stripped it out. It was a big play. We neededit," he said.
Hogan, the university president, said the school was arrangingfor Howard's mother to come to Connecticut.
"It's such a tragedy. All I can say is how sorry we all are andhow sad we all are that something like this happened in the middleof our campus," Hogan said.
UConn police were working with a major crime squad of the statepolice on the case. Hogan said about 40 officers were involved.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell also visited the campus Sunday to offer hercondolences.
"I have reached out to UConn President Hogan to offer him anyassistance needed at this most difficult time," she said in aprepared statement. "Beyond law enforcement, we will also makeavailable counselors and other needed resources."