Arrests Made in Wheeling Jesuit Lacrosse Player's Death

Early Saturday morning, Kevin Michael Figaniak, a WJU lacrosse team member, and a friend were walking home. Along the way, both men were jumped by three or four White men in their twenties. Figaniak suffered severe head trauma and died Sunday morning. Below is a message from Wheeling Jesuit University. Here is more information about two of the WJU suspects, who were arrested.

“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,” said Rev. James Fleming, WJU president.

“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,” Fr. Fleming added.

Figaniak, a senior business major, was a member of the WJU varsity lacrosse team and the University’s club hockey team. He was the son of Valerie and Tom Figaniak of Perkasie, PA. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

He was admitted to Wheeling Hospital early Saturday morning with severe head trauma and later transferred to UPMC Presbyterian. “The medical staffs at both hospitals showed exceeding patience and professionalism in their care of Kevin,” Fr. Fleming said.

The University held a prayer service on Saturday evening for students. Staff members from residence life, campus ministry, the counseling office and the athletic department are talking with students, providing them with counsel and support. “Our main concern at this time is for Kevin’s family and our students,” Fr. Fleming added.

Three Sunday Masses in the Chapel of Mary and Joseph on the WJU campus today will be offered for the repose of his soul and the intentions of his grieving family and friends.