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21 Sep 2007 15:49
Two students were shot and wounded, one seriously, at Delaware State University early on Friday, and the campus was locked down as police searched for a gunman, officials said.
Classes were cancelled for the day and students were being kept inside.
“They’ve been directed to stay in their dorms,” said Carlos Holmes, a university spokesperson. “We don’t know where the shooter’s at.”
At the university’s main entrance, swing-arm gates were down to prevent people from driving on to campus.
The students—one male, one female, were shot near the Memorial Hall gymnasium at about 1am, according to a news release on the university’s website.
Holmes said the female student appeared to have suffered serious wounds.
“They could be potentially life-threatening,” he said.
Police hoped to find out more information once the victims were able to talk.
“We haven’t had a chance to talk to them yet, and that’s probably a big reason why the suspect is still at large,” Holmes told KYW-TV of Philadelphia.
Non-essential university employees were told not to report to work.
University officials informed students about the shooting with phone calls, a notice posted on the campus website and notifications in each dormitory. Holmes said Delaware State had improved the speed of its notifications following the shootings in April at Virginia Tech.
The Dover campus was surrounded on Friday by groups of recreational vehicles belonging to Nascar fans in town for this weekend’s races at the Dover Downs Speedway.
At the start of the fall semester, the campus community held a memorial service for three students and an incoming student shot execution-style on August 4 as they hung out at an elementary school in their hometown of Newark, New Jersey. Natasha Aeriel, the only survivor, helped police identify six suspects who have been arrested.
Delaware State was established in 1891 as the State College for Coloured Students. It had about 3Â 690 students last year. The campus is in the northern section of Dover, across the street from the racetrack.—Sapa-AP
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