Sac State students gather for vigil to mourn death of William Molina

President Robert Nelsen announced Molina be honored as a graduate this May


Dominic Vitiello - State Hornet

Brothers of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at Sac State hold a vigil for William Molina, the 21-year-old student who died in a pellet gun shooting on Friday morning. Among the vigil’s attendees were other Sac State Greek members and President Robert Nelsen.

Mitchel Bobo and Dominic Vitiello

Sacramento State community members gathered Sunday night to honor the memory of 21-year-old student William Molina with a candlelight vigil.

Molina was killed by a pellet gun early Friday morning at an “off-campus gathering,” the university said in a press release.

Emergency services arrived at a home on Lycoming Court shortly after 3 a.m. and transported him to UC Davis Medical Center, where he later died, according to a statement from the Sacramento Police Department.

RELATED: Sac State student killed at ‘off-campus gathering,’ university says

Molina was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha, and had been on schedule to graduate this May as a business major.

There was a strong showing of solidarity from the Greek community at the vigil, many of whom shared memories of Molina amid a large gathering in the library quad.

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Those who spoke made frequent reference to a kind young man, who was quick to lend an ear and converse with friends and acquaintances alike. 

Screenshot courtesy of Facebook
Sac State student William Molina, 21, was killed Friday morning in a pellet gun shooting. He was a business major on track to graduate in May and a member of Pi Kappa Alpha.

“I was tasked with teaching him how to be a scholar, leader, athlete and gentleman,” said Sac State alumnus Ethan Winslow. “But he was all of those things already. We were lucky to have him.”

Sac State President Robert Nelsen was in attendance and addressed the crowd to announce that Molina will be honored as a graduate at commencement ceremonies in May.

Though brief in length the message had a noticeable impact on the crowd, inducing an emotional response.

“We’ve been working on it all week and we’ve got it all planned. I’ve spoken to his family about it and we will have a diploma for him. He will graduate,” Nelsen said. “It’s a real loss, but we came together as a family and maybe we can heal as a family.”

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Mitchel Bobo – The State Hornet
A student kneels at the memorial made to honor Sac State student and Pi Kappa Alpha member William Molina at a candlelight vigil on campus Sunday night. Molina died early Friday morning.

Pi Kappa Alpha member and athletic chair Sam Chimenti declined to comment.

Following the speaking portion of the vigil, students took turns placing candles at the foot of a memorial, which featured a picture of the Molina family.

Students filtered out slowly, while many in the Greek community remained, embracing in a circle in front of the monument.