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‘Will made you smile’: Vigil held at Sac State for victim of fatal pellet gun shooting

Sacramento State president speaks about student killed in pellet gun shooting

Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen and friends of student William Molina, who died from a pellet gun shooting early Friday, gathered at the campuses' library quad to mourn over the loss of the 21-year-old's life on Sunday, April 14.
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Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen and friends of student William Molina, who died from a pellet gun shooting early Friday, gathered at the campuses' library quad to mourn over the loss of the 21-year-old's life on Sunday, April 14.

Mourners at Sacramento State gathered Sunday night for a vigil honoring William Molina, a 21-year-old student who died early Friday after a pellet gun shooting at an off-campus gathering.

Police audio obtained from Broadcastify.com indicated Molina was shot accidentally by a friend.

Friends and fraternity brothers took turns sharing memories of Molina at a vigil in the library quad at Sacramento State.

Molina’s family, which lives locally, was invited to the vigil but declined to attend, according to family friend Frank Ramirez, who had spoken to Molina’s uncle.

Mourners held candles, and trees in the quad were wrapped in lights, with a framed picture of Molina and his friends at the center of the semicircle.

“Everyone here can say Will made you smile,” said Allie Danfield, a friend of Molina’s and a member of the Delta Gamma sorority. “How blessed are all of us to have known him.”

Danfield told Molina’s Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers, “He loved you as much as you loved him.”

Molina was a graduate of Folsom High School and was set to graduate from Sacramento State in May, university President Robert S. Nelsen said in an email Friday to students and faculty. Molina was a business major.

Mourners remembered Molina as genuine, a good friend and a good leader. He was a devoted Oakland Raiders fan, one friend said.

“I was charged with teaching him what it meant to be a scholar, leader, athlete, gentleman,” said Ethan Winslow, Molina’s new member educator in Pi Kappa Alpha. “He was all those things already. We were lucky to have him.”

Nelsen promised to celebrate Molina’s memory at graduation in May at Golden 1 Center.

“Will will graduate. He will walk across that stage,” Nelsen said, addressing the crowd.

The circumstances of Molina’s death remain unclear, and Cameron Sparks, president of Pi Kappa Alpha, told media that neither he nor any members of the fraternity would comment.

Nelsen and other university officials provided no further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

Investigators had not yet determined whether the gathering at a home on Lycoming Court in the College/Glen neighborhood was a party, Sacramento State spokesman Brian Blomster said Friday. He confirmed at least one report of repeated neighbor complaints about the house.

A Sacramento State student died from an off-campus pellet gun shooting on April 12, 2019.

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