Close to a thousand mourners packed into the funeral for a college student from Bucks County who was beaten to death. Police say a group of men attacked Kevin Figaniak last Saturday in West Virginia, where he attended Wheeling Jesuit University.
Two busloads of students made the six-hour trip for Saturday morning's service.
As they waited to board the buses home, West Virgina University lacrosse players tried hard to hold back the tears. The school's president led Figaniak's funeral mass near his hometown of Perkasie.
"It's devastated everybody," said Larry Stear, whose son played hockey with Figaniak at Pennridge High School. "It's just horrible."
Figaniak was a star hockey and lacrosse player at Pennridge. A rock outside the school now stands as a silent memorial.
At Sunday's service, mourners waited close to hour just to get in.
"He's the kind of kid -- he definitely leaves an impression on everybody that meets him," said former teammate Matt Hicks. "He's just that loving, caring guy."
Some parents drove up to seven hours to attend. Several said they needed to be there, because this could have been their own sons.
"This was completely preventable, and it just shouldn't have happened," said Stear.
West Virginia police believe two oil and gas workers attacked Figaniak after some sort of argument on the street. The young athlete was walking home from a bar with a friend. Police have not revealed what may have sparked the argument, but one of the suspects said he did not know Figaniak beforehand.
Stear said it's a lesson for his own son.
"One thing I say to him is, let things roll off your back," said Stear. "Don't walk around with your ego on your shoulder, because that's when people get hurt."
Hicks is still struggling to move on.
"He will always be remembered," he said. "Never forgotten."
Wheeling Police have not released Figaniak's autopsy results. Investigators have said they are still looking for additional suspects.
Allentown, PA 18102
- Berks 69 News