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Florida A&M player fatally stabbed

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Sept. 5 (UPI) -- A 20-year-old woman was being held on a first-degree murder charge in the stabbing death of a member of the Florida A&M women's basketball team, police said.

Tallahassee police said they arrested Starquineshia Palmer in the slaying of Shannon Washington, who was stabbed with a kitchen knife in the neck and back early Sunday during an argument, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

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Police said Palmer apparently had been in a relationship with Washington, 20, and had been visiting Washington at her apartment.

Friends, family, teammates and other students gathered for a vigil for Washington Sunday at the Florida A&M campus.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to Shannon's family and members of the Lady Rattlers basketball team," university President James H. Ammons said. "For Shannon to be killed in the prime of her life is tragic and senseless.... This is a great loss for the university and our athletic program."

Washington, a Sarasota native, transferred to Florida A&M after earning All-American honors in her two seasons at Illinois Valley Community College, where she averaged 19 points a game last season, and was expected to play shooting guard this year.

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"As a coach, this is the kind of incident you just hope you never have to deal with -- the death of one of your players at such a young age," women's basketball Coach LeDawn Gibson said.

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