Community journalist and Syracuse grad killed in D.C.

Charnice Milton, a 2011 graduate of SU, died after a gunman fired near her bus stop in Washington, D.C., Wednesday night. She reported on community news for Capital Community News and was on her way home from an assignment.

Fierce determination balanced with incredible kindness motivated Charnice Milton to give her community a voice through her words.

On May 27, a stray bullet ended her life and work. Milton, 27, died when a gunman shot near her bus stop in Washington, D.C.

A Syracuse graduate and community reporter, Milton left to return home Wednesday after covering an Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee meeting. The bullet hit her at around 9:40 p.m. by Good Hope Road and Alabama Avenue SE. 

No arrests have been made, according to the D.C. Police.

SU professor Melissa Chessher said the loss of Milton means a loss of a dedicated reporter and a kind heart. She met Milton when the young reporter entered SU's Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism graduate program in 2010.

"She worked diligently to develop her talent as a journalist," Chessher said. "It is painful to think of not only the silencing of her voice but also of all of those stories she had yet to tell."

Milton never gave up on a story until she successfully conveyed truth, Chessher said.

Friends remember Milton as reliable and determined. SU professor Emilie Davis, who knew Milton when she attended SU, said she had a bubbly spirited nature with everyone she met.

"What I remember most about Charnice is her inquisitive nature. Always asking questions. Always eager for answers," Davis said. "She had a readiness to learn."

When Milton interned with Syracuse University Magazine, Davis said she remembers Milton emailing her about a reporting lesson learned. Davis said she always stayed genuine and good-natured.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Andrew Lightman, managing editor of Capital Community News, said Milton immersed herself in the nuts and bolts of everyday life in the community.

“Charnice was a talented reporter with an engaging manner that endeared her to her sources. She was a valued member of the CCN news team completing several assignments a month,” according to a CCN statement.

While covering the news, Milton lived with her mother, a teacher, in Benning Heights. In 2011, she obtained her master's degree in Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism from SU's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She also has a bachelor's degree from Ball State University.

Milton reported for community newspapers in D.C., including the CCN publications Hill Rag and East of the River.

Read a piece she wrote on a D.C. entrepreneur's vision to help citizens returning from prison succeed in the workforce.

Photo courtesy of LinkedIn.

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