MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — Police warned the public not to a confront a 19-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting two people on Friday at a Central Michigan University residence hall, saying he is considered dangerous and likely still in the area.
Investigators said neither victim was a student and described the shooting as a “family-type domestic situation.” Police declined to confirm a Detroit Free Press report citing unnamed sources that said the suspect, James Eric Davis Jr., had fatally shot his parents when they came to pick him up for spring break.
Campus police identified and released a photo of Davis during an afternoon news conference. Lt. Larry Klaus said surveillance video suggests he fled on foot after the 8:30 a.m. shooting at Campbell Hall.
Klaus said anyone who sees Davis shouldn’t confront him, but needs to call 911. The school, which has about 23,000 students, urged everyone on campus to take shelter.
“He should be considered armed and dangerous,” said Klaus, adding that Davis was wearing a black hoodie but had been shedding certain clothes while on the run.
Klaus said Davis was taken to a hospital Thursday night by campus police because of a drug-related health problem, possibly an overdose. No other details were released.
Davis is from Plainfield, Illinois, and graduated from Central High School in 2016, said Tom Hernandez, a spokesman for Plainfield School District 202.
The shooting occurred on the last day of classes before spring break at the Mount Pleasant campus, which is about 70 miles north of Lansing. Parents who were trying to pick up students were told instead to go to a local hotel where staff would assist them while the manhunt was ongoing.
The school posted an alert Friday morning on social media about shots being fired at Campbell Hall. An automated phone message also was sent to students.
Halie Byron, 20, said she locked herself in her off-campus house, about a 10-minute walk from Campbell Hall. She had planned to run errands before traveling home to the Detroit area.
“It’s scary thinking about how easy a shooter can come into a college campus anywhere — a classroom, a library. There’s so much easy access,” Byron said.
In the surrounding community, students and staff in the Mount Pleasant school district were told not to leave nine buildings. Visitors also weren’t being allowed to enter.
News researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed from New York City.