KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Students at Northwest Missouri State University woke up Friday to the news of the death of a fellow student.
Tomarken Smith died about an hour after an assault in downtown Maryville, the university said in a statement. He was a 21-year-old senior from St. Louis.
As the news hit the Bearcat community, Smith’s friends took to Twitter, many using the hashtag #RIPTO, to honor the pre-professional studies major.
“No one deserves this,” wrote Jessi Allison, a Northwest student from Platte City. “Not even the people i hate most, and most certainly not one of nicest guys i've ever met #RIPTO”
Smith was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
"The Missouri Lambda Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon is deeply saddened by the loss of our brother, Tomarken Smith, a 21-year-old senior, who died last night," said Chase Adams, the president of the Northwest Missouri chapter of the fraternity, said in a statement emailed to 41 Action News. "The chapter extends its heartfelt condolences to his family. This is a very tough time for all of us. Please offer your thoughts and prayers for family, friends, brothers and the campus community as we struggle to cope with this tragic loss."
Other members of the Northwest Greek community were offering support to SigEp and Smith’s family.
“RIP T.O., the Greek Community has you in our hearts & prayers,” Ryan Jackson tweeted in part. Jackson is a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, according to his profile.
Northwest student Emma Bastarache, who according to her Facebook page graduated from Kansas City’s Staley High School, tweeted Smith will be dearly missed.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to all the men of sig ep and the smith family. #RIPTO,” Bastarache wrote on Twitter.
Smith was an employee at the Northwest Fitness Center, an employee there confirmed to 41 Action News Friday morning.
Even those who never met him were sharing their remorse on social media.
“I never got the chance to meet you but I know what an amazing person you were. You'll be missed greatly. #RIPTO,” Kansas City native Katie Retschulte tweeted.
Some Northwest students sent out a popular phrase around campus.
“Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat #ripTO #RIPTomarken,” wrote one Twitter user, identified in her profile only as Kristine.
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