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Isaiah Olugbemi, slain Odenton boxer, remembered at vigil

Posted at 9:23 PM, Jun 27, 2024

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. — Folks arrived by the dozens Thursday night to GORC Park in Anne Arundel County, carrying balloons and candles for a vigil in remembrance of Isaiah Olugbemi, a boxer murdered in Odenton last week.

A massive crowd gathered at the center of one of the park's fields, praying and remembering the slain young athlete.

"This has been a devastating loss for our family," Adewale Oparinde, an in-law of Olugbemi's, told a group of reporters.

"This is a man that had so much potential and had so much going for him, and his life was cut short," Tolu Oparinde, Olugbemi's cousin, said.

"And so, we are devastated as a family. We are sad, and we really want justice to be brought to this man that did this to our family," Oparinde added.

Police charging documents say 36-year-old Nicholas Francis Giroux approached Olugbemi and shot him until he fell to the ground last week, while Olugbemi was standing outside on Meadow Mist Way in Odenton.

Giroux, the documents say, confessed to police and is now facing first- and second-degree murder charges.

READ MORE: Odenton boxer remembered for dedication, ‘larger-than-life’ personality

"It's a lot that comes to mind when I think of Isaiah," said Bryson McAdams, a friend of Olugbemi's. "He was a God-fearing man, a teammate, a brother; I consider my brother."

Olugbemi had recently arrived back in Maryland after competing in and winning a national boxing competition in Michigan.

Many in attendance wore t-shirts to commemorate the young boxer. Many, emotionally, shared memories.

"When I was in Nigeria this December, he actually called me on Whatsapp and said, 'hey, I want to read the devotion that you read,'" recalled Lateef Gbadegesin, Olugbemi's friend. "And we started reading it every morning, and I got to learn about a side of Isaiah that many people don't know in terms of, just like, not the playful side but the introspective side. The fatherhood, the struggles."

Many at the vigil also called for justice in Olugbemi's murder and an end to gun violence in America once and for all.

"We do not want this anymore," Adewale Oparinde continued. "They just cut short a life; that would have generated so much value for this country. For so many lives yet unborn. And this is why this must stop."

Olugbemi will be remembered and laid to rest this Friday.