published Monday, September 30th, 2013

Police search for suspects in Tuskegee student's death

TUSKEGEE, Ala. — Police are continuing to search for suspects in the deadly shooting of a Tuskegee University student gunned down at a block party over the weekend.

Tuskegee police and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation are investigating the Friday night slaying of 21-year-old Bobby Smith of Mableton, Ga., just northwest of Atlanta, WSFA-TV reported. He was shot in the back and later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

"The Tuskegee University community is mourning the unfortunate loss of one of our own," said Tuskegee University President Gilbert Rochon said in a statement. "We are all deeply affected by this terrible incident. Our prayers and condolences are with the family."

Smith, a finance major who played for Tuskegee's tennis team, was the father of a baby who is less than a month old.

He was a 2010 graduate of South Cobb High School, school Principal Ashley Hosey wrote in an online tribute, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Smith is remembered for his "infectious smile, a bigger than life personality, unlimited jokes and honestly a gift of mischievous adventure," Hosey wrote.

Smith often returned to the suburban Atlanta high school to visit, Hosey recalled, adding that he last saw him before the start of the current school year.

"Our school and community are saddened at the loss of one of our brightest stars and highest flying eagles," Hosey wrote. "He was taken away too soon and with an act of senseless violence."

Authorities say they're not certain of the shooter's motive.

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