‘Somebody stole a beautiful person’: Police investigate death of VCU student

‘Somebody stole a beautiful person’: Police investigate death of VCU student

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The investigations continue in the deaths of a 17-year-old and a 20-year-old VCU student - both killed on Gilmer Street in separate incidents in just the past week.

Twenty-year-old Cody Woodson was a junior at VCU, he was shot in killed in the 400 Block of Gilmer Street Monday. Police are investigating whether or not there is a possible connection between Woodson’s death and the shooting death of a 17-year-old on Gilmer Street Sunday.

Woodson’s friends remember him as humble and wise beyond his years. A GoFundMe, to help support Woodson’s family, raised thousands of dollars in less than 24 hours.

“I have never felt such a visceral pain in my heart, but there are people whom Cody loved that are hurting worse then I am, and it is our turn to help. Cody didn’t come from much, and is funny how such situations can often raise the best of men,” fundraiser organizer and friend, Nicholas Parisi, wrote online. “Cody loved his mom dearly, and I can’t imagine how she is feeling, so please, anyone who can help at least relieve the financial burden of this tragedy, anything would be greatly appreciated.”

Parisi says he didn’t think it was real when he read a message saying one of his best friends has been killed. Parisi and Woodson met through playing a video game online, forming a friendship that has lasted several years. Parisi last saw Woodson in person in October but spoke to him on the phone days before he died.

“I had a rough day, I knew he would be the person to make me laugh and put things into perspective, he did,” said Parisi. “We were talking about putting a trip together to the Outer Banks. I was really looking forward to that. I knew I needed to do my part to help.”

Parisi says in a perfect world, Woodson would have pursued a career developing and designing video games but says he truly just wanted to make an impact.

“He never wanted to be the center of attention. He wanted to do the best he could for himself and the people around him, and he wanted to ensure the people around him were taken care of. That’s what I want people to remember...about him,” he said. “I don’t want people to see him as a victim, I want people to know he was an incredibly kind and genuine person.”

Woodson’s girlfriend, Clarisse, said she is grateful for anyone that had a chance to know Cody.

“I loved Cody Woodson more than anything. He was my person, and words cannot describe how lucky I was to know him. I never thought I would have to keep moving forward through this life without him. It didn’t matter if he was just someone’s roommate, classmate, TA, or friend,” she said. “He was genuine and the most beautiful person I knew, and I’m grateful for anyone that got to experience that in any sort of way as well.”

In a note to the community, VCU’s Provost said the counseling center is available for students as they mourn the loss of Woodson.

The VCU Police Department has increased patrols in the Carver neighborhood and continues to work closely with the Richmond Police Department.

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