OXFORD, Miss. (WREG)– A University of Mississippi student was killed while celebrating a major milestone.
Family and friends of Walker Fielder told WREG he had just turned 21 years old the night his life was cut short in a hit-and-run in downtown Oxford.
Now his family is in disbelief as they struggle with the tragic loss.
“They are completely overwhelmed with grief and sadness,” said Barry Burks, a family friend.
Barry Burks was his mentor. He said Fielder who is from Madison, Mississippi, was studying finance. The two attended church together in Jackson.
“Walker was a wonderful young man. I’ve known him since he was a little boy,” Burks added. “I had the pleasure of mentoring him for seven years from 6th grade to 12th grade in our disciple group.”
Early Sunday morning, Oxford Police shared images on social media of the suspects and the suspect’s truck from the hit-and-run. Officers reported the incident happened around 1 a.m. behind Oxford City Hall.
Fielder was identified as the deceased victim. A second student, Blanche Williamson, from Raleigh, North Carolina was also seriously hurt.
Oxford Police arrested 24-year-old Seth Rokitka and 18-year-old Tristan Holland both from Collierville.
Dispelling rumors, police shared another message saying the victims and suspects did not cross paths before being struck.
“There was no connection between the vehicle that hit Walker and the young girl to them, it was a random accident,” said Burks.
Rokitka is facing multiple charges including manslaughter and aggravated DUI. Holland is accused of accessory after the fact.
As the family prepares for a long legal battle as they await justice, Burks is asking for the community to lift up Fielder’s loved ones.
“The biggest thing the family needs right now is prayer. They are a very strong family of faith,” Burks continued. “They just need to see that outpouring of love.” 1:50
Rokitka’s bond is set at $1,000,000. Holland was arrested in Shelby County and will be transferred back to Mississippi soon.