Sunday 23 September 2018

Suspect in Michigan college campus shooting apprehended

Friday’s shooting at Campbell Hall happened on a day when parents were arriving to pick up students for the beginning of a week-long spring break.

Police search for 19-year-old suspect James Eric Davis Jr (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press-MLive.com/AP)
Police search for 19-year-old suspect James Eric Davis Jr (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press-MLive.com/AP)

By Ed White and Mike Householder, Associated Press

A 19-year-old student suspected of killing his parents at a Central Michigan University dormitory before running from campus has been captured, authorities said.

James Eric Davis Jr was arrested without incident after someone spotted him on train tracks, said Central Michigan University police Chief Bill Yeagley.

CMU President George E Ross thanked the campus, surrounding community and law enforcement personnel “who came together to keep each other safe and apprehend the suspect”, according to the university police website.

Friday’s shooting at Campbell Hall happened on a day when parents were arriving to pick up students for the beginning of a week-long spring break.

The university identified the two dead as Davis’s mother Diva Davis and father James Davis Sr, a part-time police officer in the Chicago suburb of Bellwood.

The shooting occurred around 8.30am local time at a residence hall at Central Michigan, which is about 70 miles north of Lansing.

Following the shooting, police released a photo of Davis and urged the public to call 911 if they saw him, but also warned that he should not be confronted.

Hours after a campus lockdown, police started a “slow, methodical removal” of staff and students who were ordered to take shelter in campus buildings, Lt Larry Klaus said, adding that he “should be considered armed and dangerous”.

Mr Klaus said video at the dorm suggested Davis had fled on foot after the shooting. He was wearing a hoodie but had been shedding certain clothes while on the run.

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A crime scene response vehicle is parked outside Central Michigan University’s Campbell Hall (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press-MLive.com/AP)

“This has been a tragic day. … The hurting will go on for a while,” Mr Ross said.

The search focused on Mount Pleasant neighbourhoods near campus. Officers in camouflage knocked on doors and checked possible hiding places. In the surrounding community, students and staff in the Mount Pleasant school district were told not to leave nine buildings.

Mr Klaus said Davis was taken to a hospital on Thursday night by campus police because of a drug-related health problem, possibly an overdose.

“Whether there was a mental health component that was in conjunction with that, we don’t know,” Mr Klaus told reporters, adding that police were still putting together “pieces of the puzzle” about the shooting and any motive.

The Davis family is from Plainfield, Illinois, about 35 miles south west of Chicago. Davis Jr graduated from Central High School in 2016, said Tom Hernandez, a spokesman for Plainfield School District 202.

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