Former UMBC swimmer and current student Jackson Bleier, 22, was fatally shot Sunday afternoon in Yale Heights, during what Baltimore Police believe was a drug purchase.
According to the Baltimore Police Department’s Facebook page, “At approximately 5:20p.m., officers responded to the 600 block of Yale Avenue for a shooting. Upon arrival officers located a 22-year-old male who was suffering from a gunshot wound to the torso.”
The post goes on to say that a preliminary investigation “revealed the victim may have been in the area attempting to purchase drugs. As the victim attempted to drive away, an unknown suspect fired into the victim’s car, striking him in the torso and causing him to crash his car.”
He was then transported to Shock Trauma where he later died.
It is unclear whether there are any suspects in the case at this time. Baltimore City homicide detectives are currently investigating the murder.
Bleier transferred to UMBC from Wright State University in 2014, and swam as a Retriever from the Fall semester of 2014 until the end of Spring 2016.
UMBC’s athletic website states that he was a sprinter who competed in both backstroke and freestyle events. The site goes on to say that during the 2015-2016 season, he “swam career bests in the 100 and 50 free events at the CCSA Championships.”
In a statement provided to The Retriever, the university said it is “saddened to report that we received notice from the Baltimore Police Department about the death of one of our students, Jackson Bleier. We extend our deepest sympathy to Jackson’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.”
Stixz Wilson, a friend of Bleier and red-shirt junior for the UMBC Women’s Basketball team, offered her comments on the tragedy.
“The last time I saw Jackson was during summer session. We were both on campus taking classes and I was talking to him about stats and how I hated it, but I passed and he was agreeing and just smiling about graduation and just summer and his new spot down in Federal Hill,” she said.
“I just remember him smiling and just being cool and chill. He helped my friends and I out when we needed help with something. I wasn’t around him a super amount but every time I hung out with him he showed love.”
Philip Adejumo, friend of Bleier and current swimmer for UMBC, told us “He was very strong, brave, confident, and tough. He would do anything to help his friends and he would strive to make sure people kept on pushing themselves in and out of the pool.”
“I’ve struggled through a lot of stuff while I’ve been here at UMBC, and he’s always been here to support me and help me through it. He was definitely a miracle to countless individuals and loved by many,” Adejumo added.
In its statement, the university said “support and resources for UMBC students are available through the UMBC Counseling Center.” They can be reached at 410-455-2472.
The Baltimore City Police Department is asking that anyone who may have information pertaining to this murder call its detectives at 410-396-2100.