The University of Maryland and College Park communities expressed their grief after junior Farhad Siddique died Wednesday night in what police are calling a domestic murder-suicide.
Prince George’s County police and the Harford County Sheriffs office believe 57-year-old Nasir Siddique, of Bel Air, killed his wife Zarqa Siddique before traveling to College Park and killing his son. Police believe he then shot and killed himself. Siddique and his father were found with gunshot wounds in a car near Parkside apartments.
University President Wallace Loh called the situation “horrific and tragic.”
“My heart goes out to the family and friends of those who died,” Loh said. “I was shocked when I read about it in the middle of the night. It’s very painful and I just feel really, really terrible about it.”
This university released an official statement Thursday.
“This is a tragedy that will be felt by our entire community,” university spokeswoman Crystal Brown wrote. “During this time of loss, we extend our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims.”
Siddique was a physiology and neurobiology major and a member of the Muslim Student Association. The organization will hold a funeral prayer at the Islamic Society of Baltimore on Saturday, treasurer Ahmedin Ibrahim said. He died hours before his birthday, Ibrahim confirmed. He would have been 20 years old on Thursday.
“Our hearts are saddened by the loss of Farhad Siddique, a dear friend and brother to many in the University of Maryland community,” the MSA said in a statement. “He is remembered as a hardworking, compassionate individual who helped others in any way he could.”
Siddique was also in his second year as a member of the Student Health Advisory Committee, a group that acts as a “student voice to the University Health Center,” according to its website. Committee President Elliott Rebello called Siddique a “dedicated member.”
“SHAC and the UHC will certainly feel his loss,” Rebello wrote. “He had a gentle spirit and was truly passionate about his studies and career goals.”
Gov. Larry Hogan’s office released a statement on Thursday as well in light of Farhad’s death.
“This is an unspeakable tragedy and the governor’s prayers are with the family of the victims of this horrific crime,” the statement read.
College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn called the incident “absolutely tragic.”
“I’m not sure what else there is to say,” he said. “It’s always a tragedy when someone loses their life, but especially a young person. He had his whole life in front of him.”
College Park District 2 Councilman P.J. Brennan called for prayers on Twitter for Siddique’s friends from this university, and District 1 Councilman Fazlul Kabir said his son, a university alumnus, had friends who knew Siddique.
“It’s very heartbreaking because it looks like they were a wonderful family,” said Kabir, referencing Facebook family photos from a recent event. “I don’t know why this happened. It is so sad.”
Siddique’s freshman year roommate, Brent McGuire, said Siddique didn’t talk about his family but went home often.
“I thought it was a good relationship,” the junior economics major said. “It’s just crazy to think about that this was someone I lived with. … Someone who was such a good person. It’s definitely shocking.”
Junior psychology major Katie Wilson said her older sister was friends with Siddique’s sister Laila. She’s currently a student at Penn State College of Medicine.
“She’s basically on her own now,” Wilson said. “I can’t even imagine what she’s going through.”
Wilson added that from her own experiences, Farhad was “a quiet, well-liked guy who was a great friend to everyone he knew.”
This university’s Counseling Center will provide crisis support to the campus community in upcoming days and weeks to “help students who may be struggling with reactions to Farhad Siddique’s death,” associate director David Petersen wrote in an email.
“We will provide crisis support services to members of our campus community in the days and weeks that follow this tragic loss,” Petersen wrote.
The Diamondback Staff contributed to this report.