Canisius College student killed in Rochester

18 Year Old Volunteered With Campus Ministry

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- A Canisius College student home for Thanksgiving break and her mother were found dead Friday morning inside a home in the southwest portion of Rochester, according to family members.

Family members said Victoria Brooks, 18, and her mom, Christie Brooks, were shot inside the home at 206 Wellington Ave.

"Nobody was expecting this,” said Jonathan Pugh of Rochester, Christie Brooks' brother-in-law. "It is such a shocker. It is crazy. They just said they found them dead this morning."

Brooks was finishing up her first semester as a freshman at Canisius College.

Director of Campus Ministry Mike Hayes said she volunteered with the organization.

"She had participated in a project called the burrito project, where we make burritos and give them out to the hungry in the city," Hayes said.

An academic recruiter who was recently in touch with Brooks told Hayes she was anxious to visit home leading up to the Thanksgiving break.

Hayes said Brooks was a friendly face in the hallways. He said she was undecided in her major but had an interest in creative writing.

Thursday morning, Hayes called a few other Campus Ministry students to make sure they were okay. He said Canisius is like a family.

"You know, we'll be here for our students. That's what we do, and that's what being part of Canisius is about, so we'll have people gather in the Chapel, and we'll offer our mass for her on Sunday night," he said.

Brooks was a graduate of Our Lady of Mercy High School. A younger sibling is still a student there.

"She was really smart. Really bright. Wanted to succeed in life, have a good life, go to college and make something out of herself," said Jon Pugh, her grandfather. "Something didn't go right."

College released the following statement: 
 

The Canisius College community is profoundly saddened by the deaths of freshman student Victoria Brooks and her mother, Christie Brooks.  We extend our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to their surviving family members and friends.

Grief counseling will be made available to all members of the Canisius College community this coming week.

No arrests have been made. The investigation is ongoing.

 


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