ATLANTA - A Morehouse College student who was carjacked just hours before he was set to drive home for a funeral made it back in time for the service.
According to Atlanta Police, 20-year-old Justin Clark had just returned to his off-campus apartment a little after 4 a.m. Thursday when a dark sedan pulled up behind him. Two armed men jumped out of the car and demanded Clark's wallet, cell phone, and car keys. Two more men, police said, stayed in the vehicle.
Clark, a political science major, said he had been studying for his midterms at the school's library and had made a stop for fast food before heading home. Investigators said he ran to a nearby Morehouse guard shack to report the crime.
"All I've been doing to get me throughout the day is like, I could've been dead, but I'm not," said Clark. "I just say my prayers and thank God for allowing me to live another day."
To make matters worse, Clark planned to drive home to New Orleans after his classes that day to attend his uncle's funeral.
"This particular crime resonates with me because you have a young man who's in school, who's studying, who's staying up late and he's also dealing with a death in his family and so you know, for him to be victimized, you know, I'm pretty upset about this one," said Atlanta Police Capt. Reginald Moorman.
College officials said late Thursday that a private donor, Dr. Victoria Dooley, whose father attended Morehouse heard about the crime and purchased a plane ticket for Clark.
"That's the least I could do – young, black male studying at night and a horrible thing happened to him. Yeah, it really touched my heart," said Dr. Dooley.
"I think this is a testament to the tight-knit community that rallies around our students and our men here at Morehouse," said Jose Mallabo, Morehouse vice president of communications.
Clark's flight was scheduled to leave Atlanta around 11 p.m. Thursday in plenty of time for him to make his uncle's funeral service Friday morning.
"It's been a weight off my shoulder because I was still struggling with how to find my way to get to New Orleans," said Clark. "I was really tore up about it last night that I thought I was going to have to miss my uncle's funeral, but just to receive a generous donation just really made my day. I want to say thank you."
Officers still have not found Clark's vehicle, which is a black 2007 Chevrolet Uplander minivan with Louisiana license plate 867ACQ. Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Atlanta Police.