WHEELING, W.Va. — A Wheeling Jesuit University student attacked early Saturday morning in Wheeling died at a Pittsburgh hospital Sunday.

Wheeling police said Kevin Figaniak, 21, of Perkasie, Pa., was pronounced dead at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at 3:05 a.m. 


Kevin Figaniak, a lacrosse player at Wheeling Jesuit University, died 24 hours after being attacked as he and a friend walked back to campus.

Figaniak, a lacrosse player, and another WJU student were jumped by three or four other men near the area of Locust Avenue and National Road just before 2 a.m. Saturday. The students reportedly were walking back to campus from a downtown club when the assault occurred.

Police said Figaniak suffered severe head trauma in the attack. He was unresponsive when emergency teams arrived. The other student was injured but refused treatment.

Wheeling police are asking anyone with information to contact them.

Wheeling Jesuit President Rev. James Fleming released the following statement Sunday:

Today is a difficult day for our campus as we mourn the loss of a member of the Wheeling Jesuit family. It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that Kevin Michael Figaniak, WJU class of 2014, passed from this life quietly and peacefully surrounded by his family and friends.

“Kevin spent the last three years at Wheeling Jesuit forging friendships and in his final hours, Kevin was surrounded by those friends and his family, who, through their love and prayers, brought Kevin home to Jesus.

“We ask you to please keep Kevin, his family and the entire Wheeling Jesuit community in your prayers. Our main concern at this time is for Kevin’s family and our students.”



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  • Terrified

    Scary thought. I go out in Wheeling with friends quite frequently and to think these types of things can happen so quickly and unexpectedly. I do not understand why people insist on solving small disagreements with physical harm. There is no disagreement that is worth someone's life. This is such a terrifying and saddening story. I feel for his family and friends.

    God Bless his Family.

    One questions though, has his friend involved been questioned and if so, why was he unable to describe the attackers?

  • Fragile Life

    A painful reminder of just how fragile human life is. One kick to the head or one punch to the temple is all it takes. Among many young men, the perception of a late night brawl being not that big of a deal is simply incorrect. People die. Human life is fragile. My prayers to the family.

  • Saddened

    Morgantown had an incident a couple years ago with a student named Ryan Divinney; while that fellow survived, his life will never be the same. I pray for this kid and his family, for peace and acceptance, and for justice for him and his friend.


    All of our WV towns and cities are turning into a cesspool. There is no value placed on any life. We are no longer a friendly place. While I agree that nothing good happens late at nite, one should be able to walk or travel anywhere without fear of being assaulted or aggravated. I hope the suspects are given a long, long, long jail term.

  • bva24

    Wheeling is turning into a cesspool.

  • cresser

    Jeff Jenkins wrote the story and I would surmise that he paraphrased the Father's words. My prayers go out to TJ and his family. -Cory

  • WVWho

    Prayers for the family. Once again NOTHING good happens after 10pm...go to bed world

  • Joe

    Prayers for the victims and families. Seem to recall a recent case like this that happened on the campus of Washington & Jefferson college.

  • Magic Mike

    What a tragedy hopefully they find the people responsible.

  • Theo Logy

    A very sorry story, indeed.

    I'm sure Fr. Fleming means well with his words, but they miss the mark, really.

    He must have missed his seminary classes on eschatology, slept through them, or didn't quite understand them, because he doesn't quite understand the Roman Catholic belief re: the afterlife. It's not the "love and prayers" of "friends and family" that bring anyone "home to Jesus."

    Again, I'm sure it was with the best of intentions and meaningful insofar as it was intended as a comfort.

    My condolences to Kevin's family. And prayers for the conversion of those who committed a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance.

    • Terrified

      No need for hard feelings or judgment upon the man who spoke on behalf of this student. Saying he fell asleep or wasn't paying attention is unnecessary. What he said was with a heavy heart and sincerity. It was a matter of speech, stating that his family was there to support him, we all know the path that leads us to God (technically). No need for the insults or negative comments!

    • John

      you should beg forgiveness from his family,&pray for your self!

    • Condolences

      My condolences to the family and friends of this young man.

      You must haver not paid attention when your parents taught you about tact. Very sorry comment, indeed at a time of loss and grief.

    • God

      Ur an ass

      • PensSteel

        Well said GOD, correcting a priest when a young man was murdered is totally asinine.

    • Pete

      Thank you for critique...not. At such a time of heartache, you chose this time to find fault. Unbelievable timing.