Allegations shock SU community
As news of Syracuse University senior Brian T. Shaw’s arrest on a charge of second-degree murder spread through the community Thursday, Chancellor Nancy Cantor sent an e-mail to students, faculty, staff and local alumni to address the tragedy and offer counseling to those who need it.
‘As of now, our comprehension of this unspeakable tragedy is incomplete,’ Cantor wrote in the e-mail. ‘Neither our heads nor our hearts permit us to fully understand all that has happened and why.’
‘The children and the family of the deceased are in our thoughts, as are those on campus who know Brian Shaw,’ said SU spokesman Kevin Morrow.
He said the university is cooperating fully with the Syracuse police and the Onondaga County District Attorney’s office.
The university places students charged with violent crimes on interim suspension pending resolution by the criminal justice system, Morrow said. The university has yet to receive a report from police on Shaw’s arrest, Morrow said, but expects one soon. When the university receives the report Shaw will be placed on interim suspension, he said.
Shaw is a member of the SU cheerleading team and a brother in the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He attended Henninger High School in Syracuse. The victim, Chiarra Seals, attended Corcoran, another city high school. The two had a four-year-old daughter together. Seals had a 17-month-old son with another man.
‘Brian T. Shaw has been a great friend and brother to all of us at Sigma Phi Epsilon,’ the Syracuse chapter of the fraternity said in a written statement. ‘We are deeply shocked and saddened by this incident. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the victims.’
Melissa Apostolidis, a sophomore communications and political science major and sister of Gamma Phi Beta, said she has known Shaw for about a year through the greek system.
‘This is just shocking,’ Apostolidis said.
She said the alleged murder is not something she would have expected from Shaw.
‘He doesn’t seem like an aggressive person,’ she said.
Nicholas Gaudreau, a graduate student in the museum studies program, lives in the apartment building where Shaw lives and has known Shaw since August.
‘I was a little nervous when I got there … living with these three frat boys,’ he said. ‘But they’ve always been very well mannered.’
Gaudreau said he knew that Shaw is a father but had never spoken with Shaw about his personal life.
‘I always found him to be absolutely pleasant,’ he said.
Shauna George, a freshman psychology major, said she met Shaw this year, became close friends and spent a lot of time with him a month and a half ago.
‘He is the sweetest person in the world,’ George said. ‘I never thought he would hurt a fly.’
George said she was stunned when she first heard of the charge against Shaw.
‘I didn’t want to believe it,’ she said.
George said she had met Shaw’s daughter before and said he ‘got along so well with his daughter.’
Jon Baselice, a sophomore economic and political science major who met Shaw through mutual friends, was also surprised by the news.
‘He was a nice guy,’ Baselice said. ‘Brian – killing somebody, I can’t see it. He’s never shown any signs of a temper around me.’
Published on March 24, 2005 at 12:00 pm