Family mourns death of UNF’s own


After UPD discovered a body inside a parked car on the fourth floor of Garage 44 around 2:15 a.m. Nov. 12, investigators declared it a case of suicide.

“From the scene, it was pretty obvious [it was a suicide],” UPD Chief Mark Foxworth said.

But the family of 22-year-old psychology major D’Angelo Hurd, who was found with a gunshot wound to the head and a 9mm Glock pistol in his lap, are not willing to accept his death as a suicide.

“We would rather just call it a death because ultimately, you never know,” said Hurd’s mother, Hazzel Sutton. For her and the rest of Hurd’s family, the death was a shock.

Although Hurd’s demeanor never seemed to change in the months prior, Sutton feels her son might have been overwhelmed by his full-time class load, particularly a statistics class he was struggling with, she said.

“He didn’t really talk too much or was very sociable,” Sutton said. “If he had any problems, he didn’t show it or talk about it.”

Hurd worked at Auntie Anne’s Pretzels for more than two years in the Avenues Mall and purchased the pistol found at the scene in October, Foxworth said.

“We didn’t even know he had a gun,” Sutton said.

But considering the violent crime numbers in Jacksonville, Sutton would have gladly accepted his son’s right to protect himself, she said.

Hurd, who graduated from Morristown High School in Morristown, N.J., was very close to his grandmother, Olive Collins, who took care of him while his mother was deployed in the U.S. Navy.

“He liked ribs,” Collins said, reminiscing how she eagerly cooked for her grandson whom her family called Brandon.

Hurd never caused any trouble and was saddened about not being able to play sports as a youngster because of a medical condition, she said.

“He didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke. He was always a good kid,” Collins said. And Hurd always made a point to visit the woman who raised him since he was 22 days old, she said.

The last time Collins called him, Hurd said he would never see her again – ever, she said.

“I would ask him when he would visit me again, and he always said ‘Oh never mommy,’ that’s how he joked,” Collins said.

Collins plans to attend the funeral services Nov. 22 at Harris Mortuary at 2261 Edison Ave.

The service is open to the public and Collins said all UNF students are welcome.

Dr. Michael Malec, associate director at the UNF Counseling Center, said cases like this sometimes bring up personal issues in other students’ lives.

They try to reach out to students in classes common with the victim, Malec said.

“With suicides, it’s not unusual for individual close to them to think ‘what could I have done,’” Malec said. “I encourage them to take advantage of our services at the counseling center.”

Students can speak to one of the 19 counselors by appointment or walk-in at any time in Building 2, room 2068.

E-mail Jonathan Morales at [email protected]