Pennsylvania authorities charged a 20-year-old Morgan State University student with murder after an alleged confrontation with a white, former star athlete and real estate developer turned into a fatal stabbing.
There are two stories. The first is the one being reported by multiple news outlets, including NBC 10 in Philadelphia. According to the station and Homicide Capt. John Ryan, Sean Schellenger, a former quarterback for Penn State University, was riding in a Mercedes Benz with two other passengers on Thursday night in Philly’s Rittenhouse Square.
The Benz got stuck in traffic when the three men got out of the car and ended up in an argument with a driver ahead of them, in an attempt to get the driver to move. Somehow, Michael White, who was riding on a bicycle, got involved in the argument, pulled out a knife and stabbed Schellenger once in the back. Schellenger died 30 minutes later from the injury.
The second story is similar. It begins with 20-year-old poet and college student Michael White, who was home for the summer from Morgan State University working as a courier for a food delivery service, according to relatives who spoke with ABC6.
A family member of White alleges that White was spat on by Schellenger and Schellenger’s group of intoxicated friends who racially targeted the student in an attempt to start a fight. For some reason, White, who was at work and didn’t know the gentlemen involved, decided to attack a group of three grown men with a knife he carried just in case in case he felt like passing the time with a murderous attack.
Police are still searching for one of Schellenger’s friends who left the scene in the car when the murderous White stabbed the 37-year-old Schellenger, who was described as a “good man.” White peacefully turned himself in 24 hours later.
By now, news outlets would have typically combed through White’s criminal history and used it to criminalize the poet. The only difference in this case is that White’s family and friends say he has never been in any trouble.
Schellenger, on the other hand, was a “rising star,” dedicated to his community and scheduled to be inducted into the Coatesville Area High School sports hall of fame this fall, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Aside from being charged with burglary, resisting arrest, criminal trespassing, and theft in 2001, the fine, upstanding Schellenger had a spotless past, unless you count his 2008 arrest for with battery and resisting detention.
In 2009, Schellenger was found guilty of disorderly conduct in Chester County but we don’t count that either, because it’s not fair to bring up his past conviction for disorderly conduct just because Michael White, who had never met Schellenger, alleges that the man was conducting himself in a disorderly manner.
White was charged with one count of murder and one count of possession of an instrument of crime. He is being held without bail.
A profile about White only uses one adjective—”depressed”—to describe the student. However, a glowing article about Schellenger failed to mention the allegations that Schellenger attacked the Morgan State student. Instead, the Philadelphia Inquirer painted Schellenger as an “amazing person,” who “had the biggest heart and “gave his heart and soul to Philadelphia and the community.”
Although the article curiously skipped over Schellenger’s criminal past, it called the developer an “even-tempered,” “stand-up guy” who was “willing to gamble on untested parts of the city,” and “up and coming neighborhoods,” a common euphemism for places where black people live, stab and kill strangers.
Jen Groover, a motivational speaker and friend of Schellenger, said Schellenger was motivated by his “struggles” in life. Although she was not at the scene, the Inquirer thought it was necessary to use her thirdhand eyewitness account:
He and the other guys in the car got out together to say something to the car that was blocking the street, and the bike rider just came up and inserted himself,” she said. “That’s the weirdest part to me: Why a random bike rider would come up and whip out a machete-size knife is just bizarre to me.”
Me too, Ms. Groover.