Seton Hall campus mourns student killed at off-campus party

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – A Seton Hall University student was killed and four other people were wounded early Sept. 25 when a gunman returned to an off-campus party where he reportedly had been refused entry and began firing into the room.

The Setonian, the campus newspaper, reported that an estimated 600 people attended a hastily organized prayer service on campus at the Catholic university later the same day, hours after sophomore Jessica Moore, 19, died from gunshot injuries sustained at the party in nearby East Orange.

Four others were shot, including two other 19-year-old female Seton Hall students, and two men not connected with the university. The other victims were named by newspapers as: Moore’s roommate, sophomore Nakeisha Vanterpool, 19, of the Bronx in New York; another Seton Hall student, Nicosia Henry, a freshman from Bolingbrook, Ill.; Yvan Christophe, 25, a graduate of New Jersey Institute of Technology and formerly of East Orange; and Xavier Lee, 20, of New York.

Party-goers told reporters that Moore was killed when she moved between the gunman and her roommate to help her after Vanterpool was shot in the face.

As of Sept. 27, police were still searching for the suspect, who party-goers said had been turned away at the door earlier out of concern he might cause trouble, reported local newspapers.

Moore, whose home was reported as Disputanta, Va., listed as her childhood hometown of Clarksville, Tenn., on her Facebook page.

The Setonian said an overflow crowd gathered in the University Center’s main lounge the evening after the shooting, crowding into a hallway, for the prayer service. Priests from the university community led the service and interim university president Gabriel Esteban offered remarks, commenting that Moore’s family is one of strong faith.

In a message to the campus posted on the university website, Esteban said Moore “was well-loved by all who knew her. She was a true blue Pirate basketball fan and a gifted athlete. As a psychology major, she planned to counsel veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. Her dreams and hopes were boundless, as were her family’s hopes for her.”

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.