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Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024
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SPA alumnus dies from stabbing incident in Metro

Kevin Sutherland, an AU alumnus and two-time secretary of student government, was stabbed to death on a Metro train at the NoMa-Gallaudet U station on July 4 at about 12:50 p.m.

Sutherland was killed in what is suspected to be an attempted robbery, according to an article from the Washington Post.

Sutherland graduated from AU in 2013 with a degree in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics and Government from the School of Public Affairs.

In a statement released to the AU community, SG President Sasha Gilthorpe wrote about Sutherland’s impact on SG and its members.

“We are heartbroken to learn that American University and the AUSG community has lost an individual who is emblematic of who we all are, and who we hope to be,” Gilthorpe wrote. “Kevin Sutherland was truly the best of us. He was incredibly kind. He was utterly and completely devoted to his friends. He used his intelligence and his talents to be a champion for what he believed in.”

Dean Barbara Romzek also released a statement to the SPA community honoring Kevin as “a politically active, service-oriented student” who embodied the values of the school.

Sutherland worked as a digital political strategist for New Blue Interactive before his death. Previously he had interned for Representative Jim Himes on Capitol Hill, according to a Washington Post article.

The Metropolitan Police Department has charged the suspected murderer, 18-year-old Jasper Spires, with first-degree murder while armed on Monday, the article said.

Spires was arrested July 2 for robbery using force and violence, two days before he allegedly stabbed Sutherland, but was released July 3 when the charge was changed from a felony to a misdemeanor, the Post reported.

Himes tweeted about the loss of Sutherland and changed his profile picture to show him and Sutherland.

“Am absolutely heartbroken by the tragic loss of intern, staffer & wonderful friend, Kevin Sutherland,” Himes said. “I've known few as selfless & decent.”

Emily Yu, who served as the SG president for the 2012-2013 school year when Sutherland served one of his two terms as secretary, said she remembers Kevin as a talented team player who enjoyed soccer, politics and country music.

“I hope the field he rests in is World Cup grade and I hope the angels are singing a Kenny Chesney song for him,” Yu said in an email. “Words can’t express what it feels like to have lost someone as special as him, I hope he knows how much he means to me, our whole community, and how truly loved he is by all who have been touched by him.”

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