Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Omega Psi Phi Issues a Statement in Response to the Shooting at Youngstown State University

Statement from Dr. Andrew A. Ray,
Grand Basileus - Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

The collective thoughts and prayers of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. are with the family of Brother Jamail Earl Johnson. We pray for their comfort and peace during this difficult time. Our thoughts also are with the 11 victims of the senseless act of violence occurring in Youngstown, Ohio on February 6, 2011.

We wish to thank Youngstown State University President Dr. Cynthia E. Anderson and her staff for the sensitivity afforded to the Johnson family during this ordeal. The Fraternity would like to acknowledge the work of the Youngstown Police Department in the ongoing investigation.  Our International Chaplain will be available to assist the family.

Brother Johnson became a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. on March 21, 2009, through Zeta Gamma Chapter at Youngstown State University. He was a Business Management major and was scheduled to graduate with several other members of his chapter this spring. Brother Johnson served the Fraternity as the chapter's recording secretary.
The death of Brother Johnson is a tragedy of immeasurable proportion to the Fraternity. The community will never benefit from his full potential and promise. He was a native of Youngstown, active in various student organizations and, was working to pay his way through college.

On the evening of the tragedy, Brother Johnson and his fellow chapter members were entertaining guests at their residence, when intruders sprayed the residence with gunfire. This senseless act of violence has stunned the Fraternity, the collegiate community and, all who respect civility in our nation.

Some media outlets have incorrectly reported that the incident occurred at an Omega Fraternity house and that the gathering was a Fraternity sponsored event. The Fraternity does not own any Fraternity housing in the State of Ohio and the gathering was not a Fraternity sponsored event. The Fraternity brothers in their residence did nothing wrong and were the victims of this criminal act.
Individuals, who engage in intellectual thought and the pursuit of academic attainment, significantly add to the quality of life in the community. Students and the broader community are entitled to a safe environment in which citizens can work, learn and grow. Senseless violence cannot be allowed to abridge the entitlements of the community.

The weight of this tragedy strengthens our resolve to uplift humanity at every station in life as we carry the hope and promise of our Brother, Jamail Johnson. The men of Omega join the citizens of Youngstown as we collectively seek to heal from this catastrophic event.

Note:  Any inquiries pertaining to Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in relation to these events should be directed to Christopher M. Cooper, Esq.  Telephone: (614) 447-0225 or Electronic mail: ccooper4th@aol.com


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