ATLANTA — Clark Atlanta University students held a prayer vigil Wednesday night for a classmate who was shot and killed just feet from campus. Atlanta Police are still searching for the gunman who killed Jatonne Sterling.
Sterling, 20, was a sophomore at the school and loved baseball. He played for Clark Atlanta and in Chicago, where he grew up. Sterling's high school coach Ernest Radcliff described him as a young man with great integrity.
“He was an outstanding student-athlete who I pretty much raised. He (had) been with me since he was 12 years old in my program. One of the best kids you could ever want, a coach's dream,” Radcliff said.
Students at the campus said they’re distraught over losing a member of their student family. They are also concerned the university didn’t alert them right away when the shooting happened.
“I saw his body from the parking lot,” Jada Somerville, a Clark Atlanta student said as she cried.
Somerville said she's mourning Sterling's loss as they way some of the students had to find out.
“One of our peers were lying on the floor for 10 minutes with his body, uncovered for anyone to see,” she said.
Atlanta Police said Sterling was shot multiple times in the parking lot of the Lyke House Catholic Church Tuesday afternoon. While police don’t believe this was random, students said it has sparked safety concerns with the shooting just feet away from student housing.
“Where was, you know, campus security? Where was the cameras? Where was anybody to help him really? Like, where was all this support we’re supposed to get in college? Where was that for him?” student Joi Scott asked.
Both students said they never got a safety alert from the school -- just a short email hours later after the victim was identified.
11Alive reached out to the university on Wednesday to about its alert system and to confirm if one was sent. However, the school didn’t respond to any requests for information.
“They sent an email with two or three sentences with condolences and it's unacceptable," Scott said. "Y'all should be ashamed really because that was a very active student on campus. He was very loved on this campus. I don’t know one person who can say a negative thing about him."
Students said this shooting as rocked them and now they're asking for the university to do more to ensure their safety.
“I came for an education I didn’t come to be in a war zone I could have stayed in New York for that,” Somerville said.
Atlanta Police said they still need help solving this crime. Anyone with information is asked to call 404-577-TIPS (8477) or submit an anonymous online tip.