Vigil held for slain Temple University student Samuel Collington

Philadelphia police say Samuel Collington was shot and killed during a carjacking after returning home from Thanksgiving break.

Annie McCormick Image
Friday, December 3, 2021
Vigil held for slain Temple University student Samuel Collington
Family and friends gathered to remember the Temple University student who was gunned down over the weekend.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Family and friends of slain Temple University student Samuel Collington gathered on Thursday at Interboro High School for a vigil in his memory.

Philadelphia police say Collington was shot and killed during a carjacking after returning home from Thanksgiving break to his off-campus apartment.

Seventeen-year-old Latif Williams surrendered to police on Wednesday night.

Samuel Collington
Courtesy: Molly Collington

District Attorney Larry Krasner included murder as one of the charges against the juvenile who holds a violent record.

Over the summer, Williams was charged with a point of gun carjacking but charges were withdrawn in the case. A spokesperson for the DA's office said the witness never showed up to testify.

Officials say they are still investigating the case, and refiling charges have not been ruled out.

Deputy Police Commissioner Ben Naish said at a press conference Wednesday that they believe Williams is linked to more crimes.

Collington was killed on the 2200 block of North Park Avenue. Last month, police say there were several other carjackings in the same area.

"Do we think he's responsible for the carjackings happening in that area? Yes, we do," said Naish.

Thursday's vigil was held in Prospect Park at Collington's alma mater, Interboro High School.

"This isn't just a loss for the Collingtons, this is a loss for the world because Sam promised he would make the world a better place," said the victim's mother, Molly Collington.

His aunt, Ann Marie Collington, said the family was grateful for the support.

"This is to support the people that knew him, (who) are just crushed by this senseless act. And as anybody would know, when you go through a tragedy you need support," she said.

SEE ALSO: Teen wanted for murder of Temple student surrenders to Philadelphia police

Authorities confirm that 17-year-old Latif Williams was accompanied by a lawyer when he surrendered to police Wednesday night.

Collington had just taken his LSATs -- the entrance exam needed for law school, and he was currently applying to schools.

The political science major had a zest for learning and he was an Eagle Scout.

While in college, he began working for the City of Philadelphia Commissioners Office with ambitions to work in politics. He also loved fishing and his family.

The Collington family did not want to comment on the arrest of the suspect.

"There's a lot we could say but we don't want to focus on that now. All we want to do is focus on his memory," said Collington's cousin Theresa Collington.