A candlelight vigil is to be held tonight on the University at Albany campus to remember a senior gunned down in a shooting late Monday.
Richard J. Bailey, originally from Wantagh, Long Island, was walking home on South Lake Avenue just before 11:30 p.m. Monday when he was shot in the head. A woman driving nearby heard a shot and then saw Bailey lying on the sidewalk. She alerted police. Bailey was treated at the scene and taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital.
He was pronounced dead just over 13 hours later, after being taken off life support.
Now, police are left to search for his killer while a campus tries to figure out why a member of its community was killed.
“Everything is being considered at this time,” Albany Police Det. James Miller said Tuesday, “whether it’s robbery or other circumstances.” Miller said he believed Bailey’s wallet was recovered at the scene.
A search of the area immediately followed the shooting, but no motive has been cited or suspect identified.
Two men were seen riding bikes in the area and around the time of the shooting, westbound on Morris Street. Police want to speak with them, but they were not considered suspects immediately.
Police are asking anyone in the area Monday night or who lives in the neighborhood who might have seen or heard anything to contact the Criminal Investigation Unit at 462-8039.
Bailey was described Tuesday as a sociology major who hoped to be a police officer, according to the New York Daily News Web site, citing an interview with Bailey’s grandmother Judith Drolet. He was to graduate Dec. 7.
“He was a good kid, a handsome good kid, played all sorts of sport, all the time,” Drolet told the paper.
Bailey was shot on South Lake Avenue, just down from Yates Street. South Lake was blocked off by crime scene tape for most of the day Tuesday. Police in patrol cars stood guard.
The shooting scene was only about four blocks from Bailey’s off-campus residence of 560 Park Ave.
As for late-night safety, Miller said everyone needs to take standard precautions.
“It’s re-educating students and residents that no matter what community you live in to take personal safety steps,” he said.
University at Albany officials Tuesday called Bailey’s killing a tragedy. They encouraged students to seek support through the university Counseling Center and Chapel House.
They also scheduled a candlelight service to be held tonight at 7 at UAlbany’s Campus Center small fountain.
The university is working with the Albany police. The university Police Department has also strengthened its directed police patrols and presence around the downtown campus and where the shooting happened.
The university is to hold several forums on campus to discuss safety protocols and tips.