FAU soccer player arrested in student's death

Posted at 8:06 PM, Dec 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-31 05:53:50-05

UPDATE: Boca Raton Police announced Wednesday evening they have made an arrest in Tuesday night's shooting.

Police arrested Donovan Malik Henry of Miramar Wednesday in Miami Gardens. He is charged with first-degree murder and robbery with a firearm in the death of FAU business major Nick Acosta.

Henry is listed on the Florida Atlantic men's soccer team roster as a freshman at the university.  

The university confirmed Wednesday evening that Henry was a freshman soccer player and civil engineering major, but has officially been suspended.

Police say drugs were involved.

“Anywhere you go...people are going to deal drugs anywhere. It is a problem that you can't eliminate. So I wasn't very shocked by it,” said FAU student KJ Clark.

Boca Raton detectives say the victim's girlfriend said Acosta was selling pot out of their apartment and that Acosta gave out the access code to get inside the building.

There were also text messages between the suspect and the victim about a narcotics transaction.

“Drug dealing is a risky business. This is another example and I've seen it in the past. And unfortunately this resulted in the death of a young man. A tragedy, said Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander.

Students say security at Park Place Apartments was beefed up significantly one night after the shooting.

Guards checked every car that came into the complex and looked at students identification.

Boca Raton Police released the 911 calls made from the student housing complex.

One caller said Acosta was breathing after he was shot. "I need an ambulance immediately. (Operation) Is this your boyfriend? (Caller) Yes it's my boyfriend," one caller said.

Another student who lived in the complex told the operator where Acosta was shot.

"We need an ambulance because he is shot. I think in the abdomen twice. Twice in the abdomen? (Operator) Are you with him him? Yeah. There are a lot of people here trying to stay with him and help," the caller said.

Officers said Acosta suffered two gunshot wounds to his torso. He was transported to Delray Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. 

Florida Atlantic University confirmed Wednesday that Acosta was a sophomore student at the university, majoring in pre-business in the College of Business.

"Florida Atlantic University is saddened to learn of the death of one of its students. The circumstances surrounding the student's death are under investigation by the City of Boca Raton Police Department, as the incident occurred at an address away from the university's Boca Raton campus," the statement read in part. It went on to say the university is offering counseling and assistance to students who were impacted by the incident Tuesday night. 

Detectives said Wednesday they were looking for at least five people who arrived at the apartments and left the area around the time of the shooting in possibly two different vehicles. 

Descriptions of people being sought by Boca Raton police: 

* Suspect 1:
Black male, 18-20 years old
Tall, thin
Blue t-shirt with a white owl on it
Gray sweatpants

* Suspect 2:
Black male, 18-22 years old
Heavyset/tattoo on bicep/elbow
Gray hoodie/gray sweatpants

* Suspect 3:
Black male, 18-20 years old
Hoodie/camouflage hat/black shoes

* Suspect 4:
Black male, 18-20 years old
Wearing all black

* Suspect 5:
Black male, 18-20 years old
Green hoodie & pants/high top sneakers


Boca Raton police say a 19-year-old man was killed after being shot twice at University Park Apartments Tuesday night.

The shooting occurred around 7:20 p.m. at the apartments located at 135 NW 20th St.

The private apartments are close to the Florida Atlantic University campus and house mostly FAU and Lynn students.

Police said they were actively searching for five persons of interest Tuesday night.

"This is a tragic event. But at this point, we don't believe it was random," Boca Raton police chief Dan Alexander said.

Alexander said at least one witness recognized one of the suspects.

Students were told to stay inside their apartments and lock their doors while police officers with rifles patrolled the campus.

"They thought it was a fight originally. Security came back and kept screaming on the phone to 911 that someone was shot and then cops with huge guns got here. And now we are lockdown," FAU sophomore Kelsie Pitzman said.

"They just said it's for our safety, and we should go inside. Two cops were yelling across the street saying get back in your house, and they were walking around with guns," said Nicole Duncan. 

The lockdown was lifted around 11 p.m. Tuesday.