SU graduate student fatally wounded Sunday night in off-campus robbery
SU graduate student fatally wounded Sunday night in off-campus robberyJanuary 21, 2002Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
A 27-year-old graduate student in the Setnor School of Music in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) was shot to death by an armed gunman Sunday night at 324 Ostrom Ave. Simeon Popov, a native of Sofia, Bulgaria, was pronounced dead at University Hospital from a gunshot wound to the head. The suspect remains at large.
At about 7 p.m. Sunday, Popov stumbled across an armed robbery in progress at Apartment 1, 324 Ostrom Ave. A masked man had entered through an unlocked front door and was holding a loaded gun on the apartment’s three occupants (one male resident-a Syracuse University student-and two male guests) when Popov arrived. The assailant demanded that Popov surrender his money. He then shot Popov and fled the apartment on foot, heading westward between buildings.
The suspect is described as a black male, in his early twenties, 5’10” tall, about 170 pounds, wearing a dark-colored mask, jacket and pants, and carrying a silver handgun and a dark-colored gym bag with white lettering. Anyone who observed the incident or who has any information on the suspect should contact the Syracuse Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division at 442-5222 or SU’s Department of Public Safety at 443-2224.
University officials were able to reach Popov’s parents in Bulgaria early this morning. VPA faculty and administrators and SU Division of Student Affairs staff have been contacting Popov’s classmates, close friends and professors.
“I am shocked, saddened and angry at this violent act,” says Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw. “My heart goes out to Simeon’s parents, Georgi and Krasimira, and his many friends. We at Syracuse University will do everything in our power to catch the person responsible and to protect our students. And I know the Syracuse Police Department feels the same.”
Popov came to SU in August 2000 to pursue a master’s degree in music. His specialty was trombone.
VPA Interim Dean Carole Brzozowski and Setnor School Director Joseph Downing, along with Hendricks Chapel and the Counseling Center, have organized a Monday gathering of Setnor School students, faculty and staff. The Slutzker Center for International Services is arranging a similar meeting for friends of Popov in SU’s international student community.
Members of the University community who desire counseling support can contact the Counseling Center at 443-4715, the Hendricks Chapel Dean’s Office at 443-2901, the Division of Student Affairs at 443-4357, the VPA Dean’s Office at 443-2611, or the Slutzker Center for International Services at 443-2457.