During a homecoming week celebration at Morgan State University in Baltimore, a shooting incident occurred, resulting in five individuals being wounded.
This prompted a several-hour lockdown of the historically Black college, during which students remained sheltered while police conducted room-by-room searches for potential suspects.
No arrests were reported. Police Commissioner Richard Worley stated that the victims, four men and one woman, are aged between 18 and 22, and their injuries were fortunately not life-threatening.
He conveyed this information during a news conference held in the early hours of Wednesday.
Morgan State Police Chief Lance Hatcher disclosed that four of the victims are enrolled as students at the university. However, authorities did not provide details regarding any potential suspect(s).
Commissioner Worley mentioned that investigators were uncertain about the number of individuals involved in the shooting. The incident occurred shortly after the coronation ceremony for Mister & Miss Morgan State at the Murphy Fine Arts Center, as students were making their way to a campus ball.
Worley explained that upon hearing gunshots and witnessing several dorm windows break, authorities initially suspected an active shooter situation on campus and responded accordingly.
The shelter-in-place directive was lifted around 12:30 a.m. after SWAT officers thoroughly searched a building where a potential suspect was believed to be hiding. Just after midnight, numerous students, dressed in formal attire, gradually exited the arts center where they had sought refuge.
Many were grappling with the shock and fear that had disrupted what was meant to be a festive evening. In front of a building adjacent to the dormitory where the shooting took place, orange evidence markers were discernible on the ground. Yellow crime tape cordoned off the area, while officers used flashlights to meticulously search for clues.
Outside the south entrance of the campus, parents assembled beyond the police barricade. Morgan State University President David Wilson confirmed the cancellation of Wednesday’s classes and announced an emergency meeting on Wednesday morning to determine the fate of other events slated for the lead-up to the school’s homecoming game, set to take place on Saturday.
He remarked, “It is regrettable that this tragedy occurred here tonight. By no means will it define who we are as a university.”
Established in 1867 as the Centenary Biblical Institute with the initial mission of training men for ministry, the university, which now enrolls around 9,000 students, relocated to its present location in northeast Baltimore in 1917. In 1939, it was acquired by the state of Maryland, aiming to expand opportunities for Black citizens.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott pointed out recent declines in the city’s homicide rate and emphasized that Tuesday’s shooting highlights the pressing need for national gun reform. “We have to address this issue on a national level,” he stated firmly. Reporting by Lavoie was done from Richmond, Virginia, with additional contributions from Associated Press writer Christopher Weber based in Los Angeles.