DSU shooting happened at event open to public

Eleanor La Prade
Posted 4/19/15

DOVER — A subdued atmosphere lingered on the campus of Delaware State University Sunday in the aftermath of Field Day festivities disrupted by a Saturday night shooting followed by a second one in …

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DSU shooting happened at event open to public


DOVER — A subdued atmosphere lingered on the campus of Delaware State University Sunday in the aftermath of Field Day festivities disrupted by a Saturday night shooting followed by a second one in the early hours of Sunday.

As of Sunday afternoon no arrests had been made in the shooting that shut down the campus, had multiple police agencies responding and reports of traffic delays on U.S. 13, at times stretching north to Cheswold according to social media chatter.

The investigation by the university’s campus police continues along with one into a second shooting hours later at the University Courtyard Apartments.

Most students appeared reluctant to talk. A message posted on Instagram urged students not to speak to the media.

However, senior Destiny Summers told a visitor Sunday afternoon she initially experienced a frantic uneasiness when she heard gunshots during Saturday night.

Ms. Summers believes the incident couldn’t have been prevented simply because of the number of people on campus for Field Day.

“It was way too big of an event to predict those types of things,” she said. “People were coming from everywhere. Greeks from different colleges were there, people that graduated from in and out of the state were there. It was just a huge variety of people.”

Field Day is an annual university-sanctioned student Greek cook-out event.

Delaware State spokesman Carlos Holmes said the event was well-attended and included numerous guests from the surrounding area.

The event was open to the public.

The first shooting happened at 8 p.m. Saturday during Field Day.

Mr. Holmes verified three people were shot.

“The three victims there who were injured in the shooting didn’t even attend DSU,” Mr. Holmes said. “We had a lot people on campus.

“The event started off great until the incident happened.”

The three victims were taken to Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital in Dover and are reported to be in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Mr. Holmes.

In the initial aftermath of the shooting, Dover and Delaware State Police, along with reports of other agencies, responded to calls from the university police.

Delaware State Police said Sunday in a press release that multiple units from the state police responded to assist in crowd control after a request from campus police.

At one point, a state police helicopter was seen hovering above the campus. Students took to Twitter and other social media to post photos and video of scenes of police and student activity.

The university used its emergency text notification system to urge students to remain inside after the shooting.

Just hours later, the university police responded to a second shooting, this one at the University Courtyard Apartments on State College Road.

No injuries were reported in the 1:15 a.m. Sunday incident, according to Mr. Holmes. It remains an active investigation, he said.

University police are the lead agency investigating both incidents. The Dover Police Department, Delaware State Police and other agencies are providing assistance.

It’ll be normal operations today at Delaware State and classes will be held.

Mr. Holmes believes the Saturday shooting will spark some conversations on how to go about holding events on campus moving forward.

“We always want to make sure our students are safe,” Mr. Holmes said.

“When incidents like this happen it’s going to bring up discussions about holding events on campus. I think our senior board leaders are going to talk about this.”

Ms. Summers said the university should look into holding events only for current students.

“I think they should check everyone’s IDs. I don’t know how realistic that is, but I think that may help,” she said.

“Firefly has way more people than what we had on campus yesterday, It’s crazy how it can last for three or more days without any violence, but DelState can’t last three hours.”

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