Campus & community, Campus news

Campus mourns tragic death of third-year Berkeley student

Campus and city police are investigating the incident

Sather Gate
UC Berkeley's Sather Gate (Photo by Peg Skorpinski)

Chancellor Carol Christ sent the following message to the campus community on Monday:

Some of you are aware of the tragic death earlier this week of third-year UC Berkeley student Seth Smith. Seth was walking near his off-campus apartment on Dwight Way on Monday evening when he was shot and fatally wounded.

Seth was 19 years old, majoring in economics, and was due to graduate in spring 2021. He came to UC Berkeley from Clarksburg, CA.

This is a senseless tragedy that affects all of us as a campus where the growth and development of our students underpins our entire mission. We offer our deepest sympathy to Seth’s family, friends, teachers, fellow students, and our community.

This news will undoubtedly raise concern about community safety. UCPD and the Berkeley Police Department (BPD) have responsibility for patrolling campus property and the city, respectively, and share a deep commitment to public safety. BPD is investigating the incident and is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of all responsible suspects. BPD asks anyone with information about Seth’s killing to call the Homicide Unit at (510) 981-5741 or the department’s 24-hour non-emergency line at (510) 981-5900.

We realize this is a difficult time for those of you who knew Seth. It is important to know that individuals may express their grief differently and we need to respect the different ways people react and support each other in the days and weeks ahead. Many of you may have had a close relationship with Seth and are feeling a sense of loss and disbelief. Others, like many of us, are experiencing stress, grief and anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic and the recent murders of George Floyd, Riah Milton, and other Black Americans.

Many of you will get comfort from your friends, family, spiritual leaders or other student groups. We also invite you to talk to a counselor at University Health Services (UHS) if you are concerned about yourself or anyone else in your community. There is also information online regarding grief and loss:

Counselors at UHS at the Tang Center are available for urgent concerns: Counseling and Psychological Services website or 510-642-9494 (after hours counseling line 855-817-5667 ).

Please also reach out to the Dean of Student office, and see the Dean of Students well-being resources, should you need any additional support or have questions.