Prairie View A&M worker shot, killed was a graduate of the university and father of 4, friend says

Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Man killed at Prairie View A&M shooting was an alumnus
ABC13 is learning more about the man killed at Prairie View A&M while students and staff want to know what happened, but police are not sharing much information about what led up to Monday's shooting.

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas (KTRK) -- Heartbreak is setting in across the Waller County community as ABC13 learns more about a man, who was a husband and father, killed on campus at Prairie View A&M on Monday.

Kendrick Wilder Sr., who went by Ken to friends and family, was shot while working at the university's farm and ranch.

"Sick to my stomach. You just can't believe it, especially when it's happening in your hometown, to a guy you know who was a family man. It's unfathomable," Chase Murray, a former high school football teammate, said.

The 31-year-old grew up in Hempstead, where he played high school football, then attended Prairie View A&M. He married and devoted his life to his wife and four children.

"He was a bright spot. Anytime he was around people, everybody was laughing and smiling," Murray said.

Wilder was on the job near the International Goat Research Center on Monday at about 9 a.m. when university police say a former employee came up and shot him multiple times.

RELATED: Former PVAMU employee shoots worker to death over alleged dispute at university farm, officials say

Police Chief Michael Curry said despite life-saving measures, Wilder was pronounced dead at the scene by 10 a.m.

"Not only did that guy take Ken from us, he took those kids' father," Murray said. "How do you go home and tell those kids that?"

Wilder's four children are 3 to 11 years old.

Through their grief, the community is now rallying to support the family.

Murray is honoring Ken's legacy by printing replicas of his Hempstead High School football jersey.

"He was very involved in youth sports because his kids were, and so anytime you saw his kids, you saw Ken coaching the team," Murray said.

Murray wants to make sure his friend's children can continue to play sports and think of their father.

All proceeds from the jersey sales pay for their team entry fees.

"We want to make sure that they still can play whatever they want, whenever they want," Murray said. "My hope is that we can get them all the way to high school sports without having to pay a cent."

The suspect, Devon Elliott Rhodes, was arrested on campus after allegedly fleeing the scene.

Rhodes is charged with murder and remains in the Waller County Jail.

The university has not shared why or when Rhodes was terminated, but they said he previously worked with Wilder at the farm.

University police said the on-campus shooting remains under investigation and have not shared a possible motive.

Murray's print shop, C&C Sports and Apparel in Hempstead is taking orders for the jersey fundraiser and donations.