Suspect at large after five people injured in shooting at Morgan State University

Suspect at large after five people injured in shooting at Morgan State University


Thao Nguyen
 USA TODAYplayShow CaptionHide Caption#videoDetailsToggle{color:var( –color-dove-gray,rgba(0,0,0,.6));cursor:pointer;display:inline-block;font-family:var(–sans-serif,sans-serif);font-size:var(–type-7);font-weight:var( –font-weight-bold,900);line-height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);margin-bottom:-8px}#vdt_hide{margin-bottom:10px}.vdt-flex[hidden]{display:none}.vdt-svg{fill:var( –color-dove-gray,rgba(0,0,0,.6));height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);width:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px)}Multiple people shot on Baltimore University campusAt least four people were wounded, none critically, in a shooting at Morgan State University in Baltimore. (Oct. 4)

Authorities in Baltimore are searching for a suspect in connection to a shooting at Morgan State University in Baltimore that injured five people and prompted an hourslong lockdown on campus late Tuesday.

Baltimore Police Department officers were patrolling the area of Morgan State University when they heard shots fired around 9:25 p.m. local time, according to Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley. Officers located victims “within minutes” and a total of five victims sustained non-life-threatening injuries, Worley said at a news conference early Wednesday.

Four men and one woman between 18 to 22 years old were treated for what appeared to be gunshot wounds, according to Worley. Four of the victims are Morgan State University students.

Authorities activated an emergency response for an active shooter situation when officers discovered multiple windows shattered. Students were told to shelter in place for about four hours, as police went from room to room looking for suspects. Classes were canceled for Wednesday.

“BPD, SWAT, along with members from our federal, local, and other jurisdictions came to assist us as we cleared the buildings to make sure we did not have an active shooter,” Worley said. “We did not locate the suspect at this time.”

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The shooting happened shortly after an event to crown Mister & Miss Morgan State at the Murphy Fine Arts Center, as students were heading to a coronation ball. City Council member Ryan Dorsey said earlier on X that “it’s believed there were three shooters firing into the crowd.” Worley said at the news conference that investigators didn’t know how many shooters were involved.

Worley said police heard gunshots and several dorm windows shattered, so officials initially thought there was an active shooter on campus and followed appropriate protocols. He said they ended the shelter-in-place order around 12:30 a.m. after SWAT officers cleared a building where a suspect may have run.

The university had just begun its week of celebrations ahead of the university’s homecoming game on Saturday. The coronation of Mister and Miss Morgan State was scheduled for Tuesday night at the Murphy Fine Arts Center.

Morgan State University is a public historically black university, or HBCU, in Baltimore, Maryland. It is the largest HBCU in the state and the campus is located in a residential area of northeast Baltimore. The university reported an enrollment of more than 9,000 students as of late 2022.

Shooting comes amid homecoming celebrations

Parents gathered at a media staging area outside a police blockade at the south entrance to campus. James Willoughby, a Morgan State alum whose daughter is a freshman, said he wasn’t leaving until he laid eyes on her. “I’m gonna be here until I can physically see her,” he said.

Ish Sargent, 20, who lives nearby, told The Associated Press that she and her friends went outside when they heard the helicopter. Though they didn’t hear gunshots, Sargent said she doesn’t usually worry about gun violence in the area.

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“At a school though, that’s crazy,” she said. “People just out here shooting.”

Glenmore Blackwood arrived on campus after his son told him the shooting happened just as festivities for the coronation were concluding.

Blackwood’s son, who is a senior at Morgan State University, was sheltering in place in the arts center’s auditorium. He sang in the ceremony and was planning to host a prayer service afterward.

“That’s my son. He’s going to make sure I know he’s OK,” Blackwood told AP. “It’s just sad. They were doing a good thing — an event to promote positivity — and all this negativity happens.”

Shooting will not ‘define who we are as a university’

Morgan State University, which has about 9,000 students, was founded in 1867 as the Centenary Biblical Institute with an initial mission of training men for ministry, according to its website. It moved to its current site in northeast Baltimore in 1917, and was purchased by the state of Maryland in 1939 as it aimed to provide more opportunities for Black citizens.

Morgan State University President David Wilson said he attended the coronation ceremony, an annual ritual that takes place in the runup to the school’s homecoming game on Saturday.

“It is unfortunate that this tragedy happened here tonight,” he said. “By no means will it define who we are as a university.”

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott noted recent declines in the city’s homicide rate and said the shooting Tuesday indicates a need for national gun reform.

“We have to deal with this issue nationally,” he said. “We have to get serious about guns.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

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