More than 200 people turned out for the funeral of an Atascocita Ivy League PhD candidate

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Loved ones say Devon Wade left behind unfinished business when he tragically passed away in November.

RELATED: Houstonians remember an Atascocita shooting victim for overcoming the odds

Pursuing a PhD in sociology at Columbia University, the 28-year-old’s boyfriend Mario Jerrell Williams, 29, allegedly ended his studies when he killed his partner home visiting Atascocita last month while he worked on his dissertation, prosecutors say.

On Saturday, more than 200 reportedly came to mourn at St. Paul United Methodist church to pay their respects for the Ivy League man.

“Today is about remembering his happy soul, and he will forever live through many people’s lives that he touched, including mine,” Wade’s older sister Tyrena Booker said in an interview with

Despite both parents in jail during his time as a high school student, according to reports, the young man graduated from M.B. Smiley High School in northeast Houston, going on to graduate again with honors from Louisiana State University.

According to court records from a probable cause hearing following the shooting, an altercation occurred between Mario Jerrell Williams, 29, and Wade at Wade’s home in the 17000 block of Crestline Road on a Monday night.

Williams reportedly admitted to authorities he went to the home to gather some personal belongings, but Wade would not let him leave, then lunging at him and allegedly giving him no choice but to fire at the 28-year-old.

Wade’s twin brother Stephen said he found him shortly after the shooting.

Stephen said he looked on the home’s security camera, which showed a man matching Williams’ profile fleeing the scene.

RELATED: A man found shot dead in the head in Atascocita

One of Wade’s professors from New York reportedly attended the service, which attendees said included tributes and a dance.

“He changed what happened around him. He made our community a different place,” Columbia sociology professor Shamus Khan, who worked with Wade on his thesis, said.

His older sister continued:

“Today is about remembering his happy soul, and he will forever live through many people’s lives that he touched, including mine,” Tyrena Booker said.

May her brother RIP.


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