Higher Education Shootings Leave 1 Dead, 5 Wounded


A wave of on-campus shootings at colleges and universities in four states has left one dead and five wounded.

In Virginia last month, a man was shot repeatedly in broad daylight in front of multiple witnesses while standing outside the student center at Norfolk State University.  According to witness reports, a gunman opened fire in front of the Miles E. Godwin Jr. Student Center before jumping into a car and driving off.

The incident left Marcus McGee, a 9-year-old who is not enrolled at the university, dead.  As of CSJ press time, police were looking to question a 26-year-old man, also unaffiliated with the university, regarding the shooting.

After the killing, members of the administration tried to relieve students’ fears by announcing that the shooting was unrelated to the university and that the campus was still a safe place to learn.  But university spokeswoman Sharon Hoggard told the Virginian-Pilot newspaper that the shooting was “completely different from what we’ve experienced before.”

The Norfolk State shooting was one of several at higher education campuses of late, including:

·         At the University of California Los Angeles, a university police officer shot and wounded a 50-year-old man after what police say was an on-campus physical altercation.  The officer is on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.

·         At Rider University in New Jersey, a student and a campus visitor were shot and suffered non-life-threatening injuries after an early-morning altercation outside the university’s student center.  Police had not detained any suspects as of press time.

·         At Benedict College in South Carolina, two students were shot while crossing a busy street that runs through the campus.  The students apparently verbally confronted a motorist who failed to yield to them in the crosswalk, and the motorist retaliated with several shots from his vehicles, wounding a male and female student.  No arrests had been made as of CSJ press time, but university officials reiterated the need to close the street to improve safety at the campus.


December 2003