Two students shot at Delaware State, campus closed
DOVER, Delaware |
DOVER, Delaware (Reuters) - Two students were shot and wounded early on Friday at Delaware State University following an apparent argument, prompting a swift campus lockdown as police hunted for the gunman.
Students at the school in the state capital Dover were told to stay in their dormitories and classes were canceled for the day, the school said in an early morning statement.
Virginia Tech University administrators were criticized for not reacting swiftly following the April shooting when student Seung-Hui Cho gunned down 32 people and then killed himself in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
University spokesman Carlos Holmes said police had identified "two persons of interest" -- both students -- one of whom was already in custody. He told reporters it appeared the shooting followed an argument in a campus cafeteria.
One of the wounded students was a female who had "potentially life-threatening" injuries, while the other, a male, was in "stable condition," at a local hospital, he said. Both are from Washington D.C. The female was shot twice and the male once.
Delaware State University Police Chief James Overton said in a statement that between 8 and 10 students had left a campus cafeteria between midnight and 1 a.m. and "a gun was produced in the area among those people and four to six shots were fired."
Holmes said students were being asked to either remain in their dormitories or leave the campus in an "orderly" fashion.
Alex Bishoff, 20, a university student, said he was working in his ground floor dormitory room when he heard five gunshots. He said that about 15 minutes later authorities told students to remain in their rooms.
"I heard shots on the campus and immediately I started thinking about the Virginia Tech thing," said Bishoff, who had not been stopped from leaving his room to get something to eat. "Everybody's very upset, mad; this is absurd."
The campus was still mourning the August execution-style killing of three returning or incoming students in their hometown of Newark, New Jersey. A fourth student was wounded in that incident.
Holmes said there was no indication of any connection between the two shootings.
The university alerted students to the incident by telephone, the Web site and by flyers, a statement on its Web site said. Students and staff who were not on the campus were told to stay away until further notice. The university directed nonessential personnel not to report to work.
"I don't think any institution in the country did not learn from Virginia Tech and we certainly did," Holmes said on CNN when asked about decision to lock down the campus.
Founded in 1891, the historically black university has about 3,300 undergraduate students on a 400-acre (160-ha) residential campus about 100 miles northeast of Washington, D.C.
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this