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Monday April 15th

Shooting at Morgan State University leaves five injured

<p><em>Police have launched a manhunt after five people were left wounded during a shooting at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/“</em><a href="" target=""><em>Morgan State University - Holmes Hall</em></a><em>” by Stephreef. May 19, 2009). </em></p>

Police have launched a manhunt after five people were left wounded during a shooting at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/“Morgan State University - Holmes Hall” by Stephreef. May 19, 2009). 

By Gauri Patel
Staff Writer

Police have launched a manhunt after five people were left wounded during a shooting at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Students were gathered for homecoming week celebrations when the gunfire erupted, according to The Washington Post. 

The victims, four of whom are students, were taken to a nearby hospital and were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Four of the five victims have been released as of Friday morning, and one remains hospitalized in stable condition. 

The victims were believed to be unintended targets in a dispute between two smaller groups, Baltimore Police Commissioner, Richard Worley, said during a news conference on Friday. The Baltimore Police Department was able to confirm there were two shooters targeting one person, who was not among the victims, from ballistic evidence and assistance from its federal partners, which include the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Preliminary investigation revealed that the shooting occurred outside. 

The police department is asking for the public’s help in identifying four people seen walking near the scene of the attack pictured in footage from video surveillance cameras, according to CNN. Officials are offering a $9,000 reward to anyone with information leading to an arrest and charges filed. Detectives continue to look through a “huge amount of video footage” and interview witnesses as a part of the investigation, according to Worley. 

The shooting unfolded at around 9:30 p.m., after a coronation ceremony, which is a part of the university’s pre-homecoming game traditions. Gunfire erupted as attendees were walking from the campus auditorium, where the ceremony was held, to the student center for the coronation ball.

City police and university officials initially believed it was an active shooter situation, as police heard several dorm windows shattering when the gunshots sounded, according to Worley.  Students and visitors were ordered to shelter in place as SWAT officers went door to door searching for suspects through campus dormitories. At 11:45 p.m., police said they no longer considered it an active-shooter situation but continued to urge people to shelter in place. A half-hour later, an announcement was posted to the university’s website that the shelter-in-place order had been lifted, according to The Washington Post. 

“What happened yesterday is just sad and terrible,” Enoch Williams, a freshman at the university, told NBC News. “I feel bad for the kids who got involved in it. I hope whoever did it gets caught and charged appropriately.”

Morgan State University President David Wilson wrote in a statement on Wednesday that all classes and activities at Morgan State were canceled for the rest of the week. This included activities planned around homecoming, including a homecoming pep rally, parade and concert. Wilson added that increased safety measures have been put in place around the campus in order to better secure campus facilities and residence halls, including the reallocation of supplemental security forces, increased Morgan State University Police Department (MSUPD) officer patrols and the utilization of the 24/7 MSUPD Safety Escort service. According to Morgan State’s student newspaper, The Spokesman, the university also has intentions of erecting a wall, save for controlled entry or exit points, around the campus. 

“Please allow me to reiterate that the safety of our campus, particularly the safety of our students, is a priority and our commitment to safety is unwavering,” Wilson wrote. “We will not be deterred in our focus on maintaining a dynamic learning and living environment where the goal of safety permeates our entire campus.”

At the news conference, Wilson said that Morgan State has received support from the White House, including Vice President Kamala Harris and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, since the shooting. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also shared a message of support on social media.  

“Our hearts go out to everyone at Morgan State and the surrounding community,” Jean-Pierre wrote. She added that President Joe Biden was “committed to strengthening support and outreach to everyone impacted by gun violence.”

Many gun safety advocates and local leaders said the shooting highlights the urgent need for comprehensive gun safety measures. Calls for universal background checks, restrictions on high-capacity magazines and red flag laws gained momentum along with demands for concrete steps towards reducing gun violence. 

“I ask our entire Morgan Family to keep our injured students in prayer as they recover from this heinous act of violence,” Wilson wrote in a statement to the community. “Together, as a family and a united community, we will rise above this moment and reaffirm Morgan’s mark as one of this nation’s most consequential institutions.”


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