A 20-year-old University of Maryland junior was stabbed to death early yesterday at a party a few blocks from the College Park campus, where students were celebrating the school football team's homecoming victory.
The victim -- Brandon James Malstrom of Phoenix, Baltimore County -- was stabbed at a residence in the 7300 block of Dickinson Ave. about 1:30 a.m. and died at a local hospital several hours later, said Cpl. Tammy Sparkman, a police spokeswoman.
Sparkman said police were called to stop an "assault in progress" at the party and found Malstrom wounded when they arrived. Police said they had no suspect, but were interviewing guests at the party -- one of many held on and near the campus Saturday night after the university's Terrapins football team beat rival North Carolina State in the nationally televised game at Byrd Stadium.
Malstrom had attended the football game with his elder brother, William Malstrom IV, and both were attending the party, their mother, Carol Malstrom, said last night.
Neighbors and family members said William Malstrom, who recently graduated from Salisbury University, told them that his brother was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"There was a scuffle that Brandon wasn't even involved in," William Malstrom told WBFF-TV (Channel 45) last night. "He got kind of pulled into it, and when it cleared out he was laying there bleeding."
Campus police gave few details about the circumstances surrounding the stabbing.
"We are actively cooperating in a death investigation with Prince George's County police," said Capt. Jim Hamrick of the school's Department of Public Safety.
Malstrom, a graduate of Dulaney High School, grew up in Phoenix and played lacrosse for his high school team and in local recreation leagues.
He spent his first year of college at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, then transferred to the College Park campus. A business major, he had spent the summer living at the beach, and was living off campus in College Park, said an uncle, Paul Malstrom. His mother said he had made the dean's list for the past several semesters.
Carol Malstrom and her husband, William Malstrom III, run Malstrom Electric in Phoenix. The elder Malstrom built their home a year before Brandon was born.
Devastated neighbors on the close-knit street rushed outside to comfort each other yesterday as the news of Malstrom's death spread. All day, friends streamed into the family's home on Edgarwood Court to remember Brandon, who was known as a loyal friend with a lot of promise.
William Shaughnessy Jr., who has lived two doors from the Malstroms for more than a decade, called Brandon a "true gentleman" who loved to skateboard and looked out for his friends. Shaughnessy spent part of yesterday at the Malstrom home, then he returned to his home to comfort his three children.
"You just can't imagine him not coming around," Shaughnessy said.
Paul Malstrom said his family was still trying to sort out how such a tragedy could have happened to a young man who had no enemies.
"He had eyes that would just melt you, and a heart of gold, gentle as a lamb," Malstrom said of his nephew. "You would not be able to find anyone who didn't like that kid. It's not possible."