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Fort Valley State students remember past tragedies amid Anitra Gunn death

The student body has dealt with more than one loss in the last few years.

FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Fort Valley State University is still reeling from the loss of Anitra Gunn. The student body has dealt with more than one loss in the last few years.

In the last four years, there have been at last four tragic deaths. Two seniors say each impacted students in their own way.

Katiana Adams is a senior who says she had the privilege of knowing Donnell Phelps four years ago, but in May of 2016, Phelps was stabbed to death on campus.

"I was really upset about it because, like I said, it was like everyone knew him -- he was the first person you met. When you came to school, you met Donnell. He was really sweet," Adams said.

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Adams says students were still healing from his loss when sophomores Precious Waters and Kearston Robinson died in a crash on a Saturday night in March 2019.

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"I didn't really know them personally, but it was still sad because they were so young and I had seen them around and I knew people that knew them and they were pretty upset," said Adams.

But the most recent death of fellow senior Anitra Gunn hit hard for Adams and friend Adazia Searcy.

"I had just saw her last week, so when I saw people were saying she was missing, it kind of scared me because it was hitting so close to home," Adams said.

Searcy said, "I was praying for a better outcome on this, because you didn't have to be close to her to feel the hurt because it's so close to here and so close to home."

As the two head into their final semesters, Adams says they'll continue to persevere like the Wildcats always do.

"The tragedies have been unsettling, but a lot of people around me have been comforting each other," said Adams.

With all of these tragedies in the last few years, the university wants to remind students that counseling is available year round and there are extra services on hand during this time. 

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