By Mark F. Gray
Tears, heartache and uncontrollable grief marked the final days of the fall semester on campus once students learned of the tragic death of a Prince George’s Community College peer following a cultural celebration on the Largo Campus.
Freshman Antwan Brown, a graduate of Charles H. Flowers High School, is believed to have left the PGCC campus with a group of students following a party at the school. The group then visited the T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant in the old Boulevard at Capital Centre to celebrate a successful event. Brown apparently was heading to his home but according to those who knew him he was unfamiliar with the Capitol Heights Metro Station – where he was supposedly dropped off – because his normal stop was at Morgan Boulevard.
Metro Transit Police tweeted that a review of video evidence suggesting a male victim deliberately placed himself in the path of the train indicating the possibility of suicide. The train was identified by a WMATA Rail Transit OPS group as Large-bound train No. 614, which entered the Capitol Heights Metro Station around 10:07 p.m.
The incident caused massive delays on the Blue and Silver lines that evening between northern Virginia and Eastern Market. Metro service was delayed as Blue Line trains in the area were confined to one track approaching midnight, while Silver Line passengers from Virginia were required to transfer to the Blue Line for trips that went beyond Eastern Market, according to Metro authorities.
Metro spokesman Ron Holzer was quoted in the Washington Post saying the man “intentionally placed himself in the path of the train,” around 10:20 p.m. However, that perception was immediately refuted by his on campus family who couldn’t comprehend how someone with such a gregarious personality would take his life.
“He was always upbeat, engaging, and a loving person,” fellow PGCC student Lawrence Brown said. “He was a great kid.”
“That’s not the person I know,” Brown added. “I believe he had dreams of becoming a police officer one day.”
Unconfirmed rumors say that Antwan may have been trying to escape from an assault attempt, which could have been a hate crime. Some who were in the traveling party who left campus and the restaurant feel that he may have been targeted because of his LGBTQ status and was trying to avoid assailants who could have been trying to cause him harm.
Those who remember him say despite his short time on campus he had a dramatic impact on those who go to know him. An engineering service specialist, who wished not to be identified, told a story of how he was breaking down tables following an event and how Antwan volunteered to assist him.
“He just walked over and started helping out without me asking,” the specialist said. “I told him to stop because I get paid to do this, but he kept on going. That’s how he was. I really liked that kid.”
There has been no announcement on final arrangements by the family at press time.