Several University of South Carolina students turned out Monday at the Horseshoe for a candlelight vigil to remember Diamoney Greene, the USC student found shot to death last week at her Copper Beech apartment.
Greene, 20, a criminology and criminal justice major at the university, was shot and killed Nov. 10 by her boyfriend, Brandon Early, 21, in an apparent murder-suicide, according to investigators. Their bodies were found by a roommate Nov. 11.
John McCutcheon, 24, Greene’s roommate, said he was paired with Greene through a roommate matching service provided by Copper Beech management.
“I got to know her and her daughter, where she was from and her life. At least, what I could learn about her I did,” McCutcheon said. “She was someone who was very friendly. (She was) a very sweet girl; every time I would see her she would greet me very warmly. She was a hard worker, she had a child, she worked, she was in school. So, she was somebody who I greatly admire.”
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McCutcheon said while he was living with Greene he saw some alleged situations involving domestic violence, including one in which he had to intervene.
“I didn’t have to physically separate anyone, but I came in and I spoke very calmly to both of them,” McCutcheon said. “I knew that I had grounded them after I left because that was the end of the argument. No more crying, no more fighting. Later I heard them laughing together when they were watching TV.”
McCutcheon said Greene told him about Early being physical with her in the past, but never went into detail about what happened.
“I am stunned to feel a sense of anger more than anything,” McCutcheon said. “I am not overcome with sadness or grief, it’s just anger and frustration that I feel more so than anything else, because this was something that was very preventable.”
Tia Stevens Andersen, a USC criminology professor, said Greene was in a juvenile delinquency class she taught. Greene, a sophomore, was well-liked by classmates and was always willing to participate in discussions, Andersen said.
“She balanced being a young mother with working off-campus and attending school full time,” Andersen said. “She was the perfect student.”
“She was such a beautiful girl and had so much potential,” Andersen added. “She was wonderful to have in class. I taught her class last Thursday, and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the class.”
Greene attended Timberland High School where she played volleyball, basketball, soccer and was a cheerleader. She was a part of the state championship basketball team in 2011, according to principal Kerry Daugherty.
Before graduating high school, Greene gave birth to her daughter, and with the help of her family, raised her while attending college at S.C. State University, where she was a part of the cheerleading program.
She transferred to USC to study criminal justice earlier this year, according to USC spokesman Wes Hickman.
Andersen said the vigil was a chance for those still struggling with Greene’s death to come together and show how much she meant to them.
It was also an opportunity for Andersen and others to stand against domestic-violence issues. South Carolina has ranked in the top 10 states for homicides related to domestic violence every year for the past 10 years, according to the Violence Policy Center.
“You think that it never happens to someone you know and that it’s the problem of strangers,” Andersen said. “I’ve been heartbroken by it and many other people who knew her are, too. I wish there was something I could have seen to prevent something like this from happening to her.”