Update: University confirms death of student in fatal hit-and-run; police still seeking suspects

Published 6:20 pm Sunday, October 16, 2022

Oxford Police continue to seek the public’s help in identifying the driver involved in a hit-and-run early Sunday that left one University of Mississippi student dead and another critically injured.
Ben Marsh, dean of students, released a statement Sunday afternoon about the incident. “We received the heartbreaking news that one of our students was killed early this morning, and another was seriously injured after they were hit by a vehicle driving near the Square. We have been in touch with the families to offer our condolences and our support. I ask the community to join us in mourning the tragic loss of a life taken too soon, and we hope and pray that our injured student recovers fully from her injuries,” he said.
A university email on Sunday identified the student who died as Walker Allen Fielder, 21, of Madison. He was an active member of Sigma Chi fraternity and was pursuing a B.B.A. in Finance  The female victim was transferred to Regional One Medical Center in Memphis with critical injuries and has not been publicly identified.
The incident took place early Sunday morning in the parking lot behind City Hall. Police were called at 1:14 a.m., when passersby found two people injured in the parking lot.
Police released screenshots from surveillance video Sunday afternoon showing two persons of interest in a pickup truck. Police are  asking anyone with information to contact OPD at 662-232-2400 or CrimeStoppers at 662-234-8799.

Meanwhile, Marsh said the university family is providing support for students. “We understand this may be a very distressing time for our campus community, and we encourage anyone who needs assistance to visit the following university support services:

·      University Counseling Center

·      UMatter: Student Support & Advocacy

Email newsletter signup

·      Student Health Services

·      Psychological Services Center

·      Clinic for Outreach and Personal Enrichment (COPE)

And Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill spoke out on Sunday evening, as both a “mother” and a community leader.
“I cannot let the sun go down on this terrible day without making a statement regarding the tragic event that happened in our community early this morning,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “As many of you have already heard, two students were injured in the parking lot behind City Hall. They were both immediately transferred to Baptist Memorial Hospital – North Mississippi. Sadly, the male student, Walker Fielder from Madison, Mississippi passed away from the injuries sustained. A female Ole Miss student remains hospitalized in Memphis. Please follow the social media accounts of the Oxford Police Department for information regarding the details of the incident and arrests. Information will be provided to the public as it is appropriate to do so. As this is an ongoing investigation, information may not be as readily available as some would hope, but I promise you that these families and finding justice for these students are our top priorities and the case will be handled with as much compassion as possible for those involved. I am proud of the Oxford Police Department and their dedication to these families and to getting answers. They are ultimate professionals and I am honored to work with them.
“I am writing to you tonight as a Mother with a broken heart for these families, for their precious friends, for their sorority sisters and fraternity brothers, for their hometowns, and for our community as we all weather another terrible storm. I am writing to ask you for your prayers for Walker’s Mom and Dad and Sister as they mourn the loss of this young man who was handsome and kind and talented and loved by so many. Pray for peace and comfort for them that only comes from our Heavenly Father. I am asking you to pray for complete healing for the female student. Please pray for wisdom for her doctors and nurses. Please pray that her injuries and her heart would heal. The physical and emotional pain these families are experiencing is unimaginable.
“Oxford is a community that comforts those that need comforting. Perhaps that comes from practice and from times of trials that we wish we could pray away, but nevertheless, Oxford always steps up when things are hard and when people need us. These two families need us. They need our prayers. They need us to surround those that love them and be God’s hands and feet. Times like these make us treasure our time with those we love. You have my commitment that we will continue to do all we can to make Oxford, Mississippi the safest community to go to school, to live and to visit.”