ITHACA, N.Y. — About 20 people gathered with candles and red balloons at Tompkins Cortland Community College Wednesday in memory of their friend Anthony Nazaire, who was killed at Cornell University early Sunday morning.

Nazaire’s childhood friend Yasmeen Holmes organized the event, saying that she’s known him from their Brooklyn neighborhood since first or second grade.

“I saw my friend die in front of my face and I didn’t find out (it was him) until the next morning,” she said.

She reiterated what many people have said about Nazaire — he was funny, kindhearted and on a path to build a better future for himself a an aspiring entrepreneur.

“Still, to this day, it’s unbelievable,” Homes said. She said she won’t believe it until she goes to his funeral.

“I need to say my last goodbye to my friend,” she said.

After the brief comments, red balloons were released in Nazaire’s memory.

In a news release Wednesday, the Ithaca Police Department said they are continuing to ask the public for more photos and videos from the street brawl early Sunday morning that led to Nazaire being stabbed to death. An estimated 200 people were at the scene, and police say they are sifting through more than 100 tips they’ve already received.

Deputy Chief Vince Monticello said in the statement, “We are working methodically to put the pieces of the puzzle back together. Unfortunately it takes time to sort through all the information and all the evidence. Our team of Investigators is doing a great job, and I’m confident that when our investigation is complete we’ll bring justice to whoever did this.”

Cornell University is also hosting a vigil for Nazaire at 4 p.m. Thursday in Ho Plaza. The vigil will also mourn the death of Cornell student Darryl Wu who died at  his Collegetown Apartment this week. No drugs or foul play are suspected in Wu’s death, though police said they do not immediately have a cause of death.

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.