Howard University student Omar Sykes fatally shot in attempted r - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Howard University student Omar Sykes fatally shot in attempted robbery; police search for suspects

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Omar Sykes (Metropolitan Police Department) Omar Sykes (Metropolitan Police Department)
WASHINGTON -

Police are searching for clues, anything that could lead them to the suspects who killed a Howard University student.

Omar Sykes was shot during an attempted robbery near the campus late Thursday night. A friend with him was also assaulted.

On Friday night, detectives were back in the neighborhood handing out flyers and looking for witnesses. The flyer with Sykes' picture and scant details of the crime offered a reward of $25,000 to find his killers.

Investigators went up and down the 700 block of Fairmont Street, NW, stopping cars and knocking on doors even leaving flyers on windshields.

Sykes' friends gathered in the area too, sad and angry at how he died.

"This is unacceptable," said Teddy Hughes, who lived with the victim. "I can't imagine anything that Omar would have done after being robbed that would have forced anybody to shoot Omar."

Hughes and some friends had been with Sykes Thursday night at Red Lounge near 14th and U Streets, NW, celebrating the Fourth of July. The two Howard students left for Sykes’ house. He was supposed to come back, but was shot multiple times in front of a rowhouse on the same block where he lived.

Police believe it was an attempted robbery, and can't say yet if anything was stolen. Friends who last saw Sykes alive are still in denial.

"I was attempting to call him this morning, I really was. When I woke up, I was like, 'Oh wow, my friend is not coming back.' It's just so hard," said friend Anthony Caudle.

The other student with Sykes was pistol whipped. He was treated and released from the hospital.

Police are looking for two suspects, but don't have a good description. They believe surveillance cameras in the area may offer clues.

"We are in the process of going through area collect all the surveillance video and go through it from many of the local establishments and residences in that area," said D.C. Police Captain Bob Alder.

Sykes was a marketing major at Howard's business school and had done a summer internship at the state department three years ago. He had just turned 22 years old last Sunday and had recently blogged about his home being burglarized. He was someone friends say lived to help people.

"He had such a bright future ... All he wanted to do was help people. There was not a selfish bone in the kid's body," Caudle said.

Friends are planning a vigil at the flagpole in the middle of Howard's campus on the main mall at 7 p.m. Saturday.

"It's not okay for someone like Omar to lose his life," said Hughes.

The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone that provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons wanted for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at (202) 727-9099. Additionally, anonymous information may be submitted to the department's TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411.


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