A 20-year-old nursing student was fatally shot at the University of Alabama at Birmingham last week, police say.
Destiny Washington of Trussville, Alabama, was shot to death on Thursday, December 17, in a parking lot just outside of the Hill Student Center, according to Birmingham police. Washington, who was taking classes at Lawson State Community College through a joint admission program with UAB, had arranged with her boyfriend to meet 22-year-old Carlos Stephens on campus to sell him a pair of AirPods, AL.com reported.
Around 9:30 p.m., Stephens shot Washington in her car after the transaction soured, according to the Birmingham Police Department and AL.com. The boyfriend then drove Washington to the Children’s of Alabama hospital nearby where she later died, according to AL.com.
“We are devastated that tragedy hit the UAB family overnight when a student lost her life after being shot in the parking lot outside the Hill Student Center,” UAB officials said in a statement obtained by AL.com. “Police believe this occurred during a meeting arranged to sell headphones.”
Stephens, an Alabaster native, turned himself in on Saturday, December 19, and is being held in the Birmingham City Jail pending formal warrants, Birmingham police announced on December 21. AL.com reported that he was charged with capital murder.
He will be transferred to the Jefferson County Jail where he will be held without bond, the Department said.
Here’s what you need to know:
Washington & Her Boyfriend Tried to Sell the Pair of AirPods for $100, Family Members Told Local Media
According to Washington’s family, the nursing student and her boyfriend met with Stephens to sell him a pair of AirPods for $100, AL.com said.
Things took a turn for the worse when “the boyfriend realized the money was fake and began to drive off,” the outlet continued.
“The transaction soured, and as Washington and her boyfriend returned to their car, the man allegedly opened fire, striking Washington,” KIRO7 reported, citing Birmingham police.
Washington Was Studying to Become a Nurse & Is Described as a ‘Sweet Soul’
Washington was slated to graduate as a registered nurse in May 2021, KIRO7 reported.
“Though initially she wanted to work in neonatal care, she had changed her mind and planned on becoming a traveling nurse,” the station said.
A 2018 graduate from Clay-Chalkville High School, Washington was as an AP student and former volleyball player, according to KIRO7.
“She was outstanding,” Clay-Chalkville High School Principal Michael Lee told the station. “The thing I remember most about Destiny was her smile. She was a sweet, sweet soul.”
Melanie Gaines, Washington’s former AP English teacher, echoed the principal’s sentiment, The Trussville Tribune reported. Gaines told the newspaper that she hopes people remember Washington for “the light that she had.”
“Destiny was one of those students that always tried to help out,” the teacher said, according to The Tribune. “She is one of those that always stayed with you.”
On December 16, Washington shared a post on her Facebook page with the subtitles: “Your next 3 months are going to be better than your last 3 months. A big blessing is coming.”
Brandee Crenshaw, one of Washington’s older sisters, told AL.com, “I feel like my life will change forever and I’m sure everybody surrounding me feels the same way. I’ll never be the same. It’s not real.”