COLUMBIA, South Carolina — The Palmetto State is reeling after the death of three college students across the state in less than a week.

Evan Gaines, USC Upstate

On Tuesday, March 26, a USC Upstate student from Columbia was killed in a shooting off campus. 

Related: USC Upstate student from Columbia killed in shooting

22-year-old Evan Jeffery Gaines was found shot at Campus Edge Apartments. It's unclear if he was shot at the apartment complex near the USC Upstate campus or another location.

Evan Gaines
Evan Gaines was a senior studying business at USC Upstate.
Sabrina Durant

Related: USC Upstate student from Columbia killed, but few details a week after his death

His sister Erra Roundtree described Gaines as 'a walking angel.' He was an A-B honor roll student during his high school years at W.J. Keenan High, and a basketball player who loved spending time with friends.

According to friends, Gaines was a senior studying business with hopes of becoming an entrepreneur. 

Related: 'A walking angel': Family, friends of slain USC Upstate senior speak out

Gaines' funeral is set for Wednesday, April 3 in Columbia.  

Parker Neff, USC Salkehatchie

On Friday, March 29, a USC Salkehatchie baseball player died after collapsing on the field during practice.

21-year-old Parker Neff from Travelers Rest was out on the field preparing for practice when he collapsed.

Related: "Parker made the people around him better": South Carolina baseball player dies after collapsing on field

Parker Neff
Parker Neff was pursuing his dream of playing collegiate baseball at USC Salkehatchie.
USC Salkehatchie

While Neff was a very good baseball player, school officials said "he was a much better person - kind, respectful, thoughtful, considerate, personable, quiet and reserved." They went on to say, "Parker made the people around him better."

Samantha Josephson, USC Columbia

On Friday, March 29, a USC student in Columbia was kidnapped and murdered following a night out with friends in a local entertainment district.

Related: USC student got into wrong car, was kidnapped and killed by suspect, police say 

Police say 21-year-old Samantha Josephson was killed after she mistakenly got into a car thinking it was her Uber ride. 

Samantha Josephson
Samantha Josephson
Facebook

Turkey hunters found her body in a wooded area off a dirt road some 70 miles away in Clarendon County.

Related:
'She had no chance': Father of slain USC student wants changes for Uber, Lyft 
'Don't ever forget her name': Mother of slain USC student speaks for first time

A senior political science major from New Jersey, Josephson planned to go to law school. 

Related: 'It's not fair': Slain USC student planned to go to law school, friend says 

Her funeral is set for Wednesday, April 3, at her family's synagogue in Princeton Junction, New Jersey.

**In another tragic series of events, a Colleton County fifth-grader died from injuries suffered in a fight at her elementary school.**

Raniya Wright, Forest Hills Elementary School

Raniya Wright Forest Hills Elementary School
Raniya Wright died from injuries suffered in a fight at Forest Hills Elementary School.
Pizarro Law Firm/Jacob Reynolds/WLTX

On Wednesday, March 27, 10-year-old Raniya Wright died at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston from injuries she suffered in a fight at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro.

Related: SC girl injured in classroom fight dies from her injuries, officials confirm

Colleton County School District officials said teachers ended the fight as quickly as possible, and called for EMS. An incident report states both of the students involved were fifth-graders, and the offense was listed as a simple assault.

Related: SC fifth-grader airlifted to hospital after classroom fight, district says

Officials have remain tight-lipped about the investigation, saying only that it could takes weeks to complete.

Related: Investigation into death of girl in SC classroom 'could take weeks' 

Frustrated by the lack of information he has received, Wright's father spoke out on Monday, calling for answers and justice for the 10-year-old.  

Related: 'Justice for my daughter': Dad of SC girl who died in classroom fight wants answers

Meanwhile, her attorneys say Ashley Wright has spent the last few days gathering with friends, family and her community to make final preparations to lay Raniya to rest.  

'She has busied herself with selecting the perfect dress and accessories, making sure that Raniya’s hair is styled perfectly, and deciding if Raniya will wear lace gloves or have her nails painted," attorneys said. "She has been busy selecting the passage of scripture that wonderfully describes the love that Raniya gave and choosing the perfect song that mimics her personality."

Related: Funeral set for SC fifth-grader killed in school fight as parents still seek answers

A celebration of life for Wright will be held on Wednesday, April 3, in Walterboro.