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SHU community loses senior, brother, best friend (Print-friendly)

02/28/09



By Tiffany Gilbert
Editor in Chief

On Sunday, February 15, tears of sorrow and favored memories filled the Seton Hill University (SHU) community in respect of student, Joseph F. Briggs. Known to his friends and peers as Joe, Briggs, a senior at SHU is remembered as a “brother” and “best friend” to many people. Due to unfortunate circumstances, Briggs was shot and killed by a police officer after a three-hour standoff at his residence on Concord Avenue in Greensburg.

A memorial service for Briggs was held in St. Joseph’s Chapel on Monday, February 16 for the grieving SHU community.

“The service made a real impact on people and the number in attendance was inspiring,” said Cindy Boland, director of campus ministry. Approximately 100 friends, loved ones and members of the SHU community gathered in prayer and offered condolences in remembrance of his life. The service “really spoke to the people Joe touched,” said Boland, “People who were moved with concern and passion wanted to come for support.”

Briggs was from Dickerson, Maryland and a graduate of Poolesville Sr. High School. Briggs’ Facebook page attracted numerous comments from friends and loved ones on Sunday as the word spread and the first official reports were released.

Christina Eileen Tiano, a junior, wrote, “I love you buddy, you were the bestest guy and best person that would always listen to everyone and give so much of yourself no matter what. I know God will make you an angel. I love you.”

“Joe, you were a teddy bear with a big heart. You’ll be missed,” Stephanie Lowden, a junior, wrote on his Facebook wall.

Briggs was one of the first recruited players for SHU’s inaugural football season in 2005. He was also a member of his high school’s football team and is remembered by his former coach Larry Hurd.

Hurd also left a comment of, “Joe, I am having a hard time understanding what happened. But RIP young man. You will be remembered and loved by all of your teammates, coaches, and friends. It was a pleasure to be your coach and even more of a pleasure to be your friend.”

Briggs was involved in the criminal justice program at SHU. He was passionate about a entering a career in law enforcement and was already taking the first steps in achieving that goal.

“He was a really nice guy. He used to play football and he helped out with the team. I had a lot of classes with him, mainly criminal justice. He was so knowledgeable and quiet. It is a shock that this happened,” said Adam Kezmarsky, a junior.

Briggs will be fondly remembered and missed on Seton Hill’s campus. His kindness and compassion will continue to render and envelop those whom he touched and inspired.