RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — VCU leaders held a vigil for Cody Woodson, the 20-year-old student gunned down on Gilmer street last week near campus. It was the second deadly shooting on the same block in about 24 hours.
Woodson was both a VCU computer science student and teacher’s assistant in VCU’s School of Engineering. At a virtual vigil Monday, more than a dozen students and staff shared how he impacted on their lives.
“I remember him as the engaging young man, as he was lifting his fellow students in the climb up the mountain of computer science,” one professor said.
The virtual event, organized by VCU, ended with a special announcement — a scholarship in Woodson’s name. “We will be giving each year, a Cody Woodson scholarship, to a student who espouses his characteristics: being honest and gentle, helping others to succeed, and doing more than is required,” a faculty member said.
Woodson was the second young man shot dead within about 24 hours on Gilmer Street last week. His girlfriend, Clarisse Liclic, said she was with her boyfriend less than ten minutes before he died.
She told 8News he was taking out the trash then walking to a corner store down Gilmer street for a can of tea.
According to an online obituary, Cody graduated from Buckingham County High School with honors, graduated from the Governor’s School and was currently in his junior year at VCU.
He was President of The Linux Users Group and had internship planned at Geodecisions, a software company in Richmond, for this summer.
“Our boy touched so many lives of people around the world just as the sun does when it shines. His charismatic smile, passion for life, and his thirst for learning was contagious,” his family wrote.
On Monday, his professors and other department leaders praised the teacher’s assistant, who they said made a meaningful impact on his students.
They said Woodson would constantly stay past office hours to make sure students understood the material. “Even though he’s not with us in body, his spirit will continue to reside with us,” a staff member said.
Some of Woodson’s family spoke out at the vigil for the first time since the young man’s death. “He was such a kind soul. Always had a smile on his face,” his cousin Rebecca said.
His childhood friend, Jeffrey Stanley, spoke about his immediate disbelief while fighting back tears.
“I couldn’t even believe it,” he said. “It honestly took me half a day for it to come to my attention that he’s actually gone.”
Who killed both Woodson and the unidentified 17-year-old boy in a shooting the night before is still under investigation. On Monday, police said they have no sharable updates in either investigation.