Police warned the public not to a confront a 19-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting two people on Friday at a Central Michigan University residence hall, saying he is considered dangerous and likely still in the area.
Neither victim was a student at the school, and investigators believe the shooting was related to some type of domestic problem. The school, which has about 23,000 students, urged everyone on campus to take shelter.
Campus police identified and released a photo of the suspect, James Eric Davis Jr., during an afternoon news conference. Lt. Larry Klaus said surveillance video suggests that Davis fled on foot after the 8:30 a.m. shooting at Campbell Hall.
Klaus said anyone who sees Davis shouldn’t confront him, but needs to call 911.
“He should be considered armed and dangerous,” said Klaus, adding that Davis was wearing a black hoodie but had been shedding certain clothes while on the run.
Klaus declined to release information about the victims or confirm that Davis was a student. But he disclosed that Davis was taken to a hospital on Thursday night by campus police because of a drug-related health problem, possibly an overdose. No other details were released.
The shooting occurred on the last day of classes before spring break at the Mount Pleasant campus, which is about 112.6 kilometers north of Lansing. Parents who were trying to pick up students were told instead to go to a local hotel where staff would assist them while the manhunt was ongoing.
The school posted an alert on Friday morning on social media about shots being fired at Campbell Hall. An automated phone message also was sent to students.
Halie Byron, 20, said she locked herself in her off-campus house, about a 10-minute walk from Campbell Hall. She had planned to run errands before traveling home to the Detroit area.
“It’s scary thinking about how easy a shooter can come into a college campus anywhere - a classroom, a library. There’s so much easy access,” Byron said.
In the surrounding community, students and staff in the Mount Pleasant school district were told not to leave nine buildings. Visitors also weren’t being allowed to enter.