BOWIE — A 19-year-old Bowie State University student was charged with murder Friday in the stabbing of her roommate, a crime that shocked the campus of the small, historically black school in the Washington suburbs.
Alexis Simpson of District Heights fatally stabbed 18-year-old Dominique Frazier of Washington on Thursday night inside the apartment-style dormitory where they lived, Maryland State Police said.
Simpson fled the campus after the stabbing, which was reported shortly after 8 p.m., then turned herself in to Prince George’s County police around midnight. She was charged Friday with first-degree murder and related counts and was being held without bond.
Simpson and Frazier had an argument that led to a physical fight, but police said Friday morning they hadn’t confirmed what the confrontation was about. Students who lived in the dorm described ongoing problems between the roommates, but didn’t know specifics.
Frazier was unconscious and bleeding from her upper torso when campus police found her in a hallway, police said. She died at a hospital within an hour.
Cassandra Robinson, a university spokeswoman, said Frazier was a second-year student who had not yet obtained enough credits to be classified as a sophomore. She said Simpson was a transfer student who was also credits shy of completing her freshman year.
‘Difficult to understand’
The university canceled all classes Friday but told students there was no ongoing threat to campus safety. A community gathering was to be held at noon to console students, and counselors were on hand to assist grieving students, school officials said.
“This kind of senseless violence is difficult to understand,” university officials said in a statement. “The entire university community is distressed that this type of violence has occurred within our midst.”The campus was quiet Friday morning. The dorm was blocked off by yellow police tape, and a crime scene van was nearby.
Jamie Holloway, a 21-year-old senior from Temple Hills who did not know the victim or suspect, said fights between students in the past have typically been handled by campus police without escalating into deadly violence.
“It feels weird, seeing police tape where you spend the night at school. But it’s something we’re dealing with as a university,” Holloway said. “This is a small university, so we’re kind of like family.”
Robinson said she was unaware of any previous slayings on campus.
Robinson said a text message alert was sent to students almost immediately after officials learned of the stabbing.
“It’s tragic and I just don’t know how it all could have been avoided,” she said
Bowie State, founded in 1865, is part of the University System of Maryland and has 5,600 undergraduate and graduate students. About 1,400 students live on campus, and nearly 82 percent receive some form of financial aid.
The Christa McAuliffe Residential Community building on campus, where the young women lived, is managed by an outside firm, Capstone Management, Robinson said. Each suite consists of four single bedrooms with a common living area and kitchen.
The dorm houses mostly upperclassmen, Robinson said, and students who request to live there are assigned to suites at random.
Robinson said she could not comment on whether Wilson and Frazier had been fighting because it was part of the police investigation, but she said that in general, if roommates have problems, their first step would be to speak with a resident adviser.