At least five people, including four students, were injured in a shooting on the campus of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, where homecoming events were being held Tuesday night, local police reported.
The shooting occurred around 9:25 p.m. and caused panic among those attending the events, Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley told the press.
Five people between 18 and 22 years old were injured, of which four are men and one woman. Fortunately, everyone is out of danger, Worley added.
The campus remained closed for a few hours after the warning that someone was shooting, an alert that hours later was lifted, as confirmed by authorities. They specified that according to the investigations, the five injured young people were not the targets sought by the gunmen. It was another person, who is not among the victims, Worley indicated, without giving further explanations
At the moment no arrests were reported related to the shooting, but law enforcement agencies indicated that a vast operation had been launched since the early hours of Wednesday to capture the two suspects.
The university urged students and their families to stay away from the affected area and find shelter.
Wednesday's classes were canceled, authorities indicated, a measure that was extended to all welcome events already scheduled, as announced that day by the president of the university, David Wilson. He also said it is the first time in the center's history that welcome ceremonies have been cancelled.
Morgan is a university historically linked to the African-American community and has about 9,000 students.
In a statement released on social media, Wilson noted that “unfortunately, we find ourselves going through this tragic event at a time when we should be celebrating.”
Authorities also ruled out that the shooting was racially motivated.
Witnesses indicated that the shooting occurred in the middle of the welcome event, when Mr. and Mrs. Morgan State University had just been crowned, on the university campus. Those attending were then due to attend a coronation dance in the student center, when the first shots were heard. Everyone ran very scared in search of shelter.
Police officers were supported by a group of heavily armed SWAT agents, who were in charge of thoroughly searching the campus, until the presence of an active shooter was ruled out.
It is not the first time that an act of violence has been recorded on campus in this type of ceremony.
- Last year, also in October, a student was shot. The party where that shooting occurred had not been authorized, officials said at the time.
- And in 2021, another student was arrested and charged with shooting a classmate, also during the weekend that homecoming was scheduled.