The Mourning of Jasper “Jazz” Howard

On Tuesday evening, October 20th, 2009 Dede Latif a University of Connecticut student was being comforted by a friend while she sobbed, kneeling at a memorial for her good friend, Jasper “Jazz” Howard who was stabbed to death at this location, just after midnight two days earlier.

Jasper Howard “Play each play like it’s the last play you’ll ever play.”

Jasper Howard grew up in Miami, Florida in a small neighborhood called Little Haiti, a place known for its poverty and violence. There he lived with his mother JoAngila Howard and his two younger sisters. He had a plan to earn a college scholarship and to go to the NFL where he would earn enough money to relocate his family to a safer home out of Little Haiti. His mother said that when he went to Connecticut and UConn she was glad that he would be in a safe environment. On the day of his last game, Howard was quoted by his teammates as saying “Play each play like it’s the last play you’ll ever play.” In that, his last game he made 11 tackles and forced a key fumble in a 38-25 Huskies win over Louisville. That evening he was fatally stabbed on the UConn campus at Storrs after attending a dance at the student Union. He was 20 years old and the father of an unborn baby.

Too Few Memorial Candles

On the right, Rebecca Swenson from Salt Lake City, Utah collects candles for herself and friends who were attending the Jasper Howard vigil. The University had supplied 1600 candles, but they were all gone long before the crowd reached its full size. University personnel estimated that there were well over 2000 people who had come to remember Howard.

The UConn Community Gathers

A crowd, estimated in excess of 2000 people gathered behind the Student Union at UConn in Storrs on Wednesday evening. The event was a vigil for slain UConn football player, Jasper Howard. There was music and tributes to both Howard and to the University community who has reached out to Howard’s family while supporting each other through this trying time. President Michael J. Hogan and football coach Randy Edsall addressed those who gathered there. Students spoke about their loss and love for Jasper Howard and his family.

Silence

Students listen to Coach Randy Edsall speak about the events of the last few days. The mall behind the Student Union, while holding 2000  people, was silent.

UConn Student Leah Nelson

UConn student Leah Nelson holds her candle high at Jasper Howard’s vigil.

UConn Students And Faculty Were Deeply Affected By Howard’s Tragic Death

Three close friends of Jasper Howard, silently stood on a rise overlooking a field where over 2000 of the school community were gathering at the Jasper Howard vigil at the University of Connecticut.

 

At the October 29th Vigil

Eleven days after the murder of Jasper Howard, University of Connecticut students gather at a vigil to support each other and remember Jasper.

Kashif Moore – Howard’s roomate

Jaspar Howard’s roomate and fellow football team member, Kashif Moore, spoke about his friendship with Howard and how much he missed him. Moore had Jasper Howard’s jersey number “6” tattooed on his own abdomen, at the location where his friend was stabbed. Prior to an ambulance arriving, it was Moore that held Howard in his arms while a teammate pressed his wound. Moore said that Howard was in and out of consciousness.

 

 

The final on campus memorial event

November 12, 2009\At the Jorgenson Center for the Perforaming Arts at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, “A Celebration of Jazz” was held on Thursday evening. This was the final memorial event on campus for the murdered football star Jasper Howard. Near the end of the ceremony a video was played showing moments of Howard’s time at UConn, instances when he was filmed in games and also in a short, where he introduced himself as part of the UConn football team. On stage was his mother, JoAnglia Howard, seated second from the left and being comforted by Jasper’s stepfather, Henry Williams. To her left is Jasper’s sister, Jasmine Howard and UConn football coach, Randy Edsall.