Community Mourns With Student’s Family

Many young people think of college as the real start of their adult lives. It is the first time most have been on their own, often away from home, preparing themselves for careers.

No doubt Kevin Figaniak, a senior at Wheeling Jesuit University, had high hopes for the future. But Figaniak, 21, died Sunday as a result of a beating he suffered in the early morning on Saturday.

Figaniak, of Perkasie, Pa., and a friend were involved in a brutal fight near the intersection of Locust Avenue and National Road, not far from the WJU campus. Figaniak’s injuries claimed his life.

Two men are in custody, charged with murder in Figaniak’s death.

The tragedy shocked and stunned many in our community, including longtime area residents as well as students and faculty at WJU. “‘Why?’ was what people kept on asking,” university President the Rev. James Fleming said during a press conference Tuesday.

“There’s no good answer for why it would happen,” he added. “There is evil in the world, and we saw the results of it firsthand.”

Some details of the fight and what led up to it already have been revealed. More will come out as the justice system copes with the case.

But Fleming is right. There is no good reason for what happened. A promising young man has been taken from his family and friends. A life that could have been important in some way we will never know has been cut short.

Fleming already has attempted to console Figaniak’s family. We would add that many here in Wheeling mourn the young man, too. We extend our condolences to his family.