Slain Student Remembered


Mourners embrace each other in front of eternal flame

Family and friends paid their respects to a Florida A&M University student who was killed early Wednesday morning.

The School of Architecture and Engineering Technology hosted a vigil in front of the Eternal Flame to honor the life of Aaron Goodwin, lighting 24 candles, representing each year of his life.

Goodwin, a Rockledge native, graduated from FAMU last spring with a bachelor's degree in architecture. He was taking classes to receive his master's degree in facilities management.

Instructors from the architect department spoke highly of Goodwin as a student.

"He was so selfless. I never saw a student like that," said Donald Palm, associate Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Andrew Chin, Assistant Dean in the School of Architecture and Engineering Technology said he will remember how much of a dedicated student Aaron was.

“Aaron was a very focused and dedicated student. He found his calling when he began his graduate studies in the facilities management program,” said Chin.

Samilia Jordan, a physical therapy student from Rockledge, Fla., remembered Goodwin as a good person. She was heartbroken that such tragedy has happened to her childhood friend.

“Aaron and I lived about 20 minutes away from each other in Rockledge, but I really got to know him when I moved up here. He was such a good person,” said Jordan. “I’m heartbroken, it hasn’t hit me yet. It was Aaron.”

Goodwin’s body was found Wednesday morning in his sneaker boutique, Exclusive Heat. The Leon County Sheriff's Office ruled his death a homicide. Goodwin’s car was found in flames later that morning in Jefferson County.

Mahogany Dawson, an English student from Vallejo, Calif., wasn’t just Goodwin’s employee but a friend as well. She described Goodwin personality as loving and vibrant.

“He would bend over backwards just to help anyone in need, no matter how drastic the measures while keeping a smile on his face. He was always there if you needed a shoulder to cry on or just someone to hang-out with. Aaron would never reply to your texts, but would always answer your calls. He is one of the most genuinely loving person I have ever met, and I will truly cherish his friendship forever,” said Dawson.

Michaela Yant, an entomology student from Jackson, Miss., was Goodwin’s neighbor. With tears in her eyes, she remembered Aaron as her alarm clock. He used to wake her up faithfully at 7:15 a.m. to get her ready for school.

“We hung out together. We painted together. We were always together,” said Yant. “I just don’t understand why somebody would do this to him. I feel empty, Aaron was my alarm clock. I just want my alarm clock back.”

LCSO spokesman Sgt. James McQuaig confirmed that detectives are still processing forensic evidence, pursuing leads and conducting interviews.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Leon County Sheriff's Office at 850-606-3600.