Valdosta Daily Times

State News

March 31, 2014

Man dead after shooting at Georgia university

COLUMBUS, Ga. — A man was shot and fatally wounded by campus police on Sunday near student apartments at Georgia’s Columbus State University after they responded to reports that someone had been seen loading a gun, campus authorities said.

No one else was hurt and the campus in western Georgia, about 100 miles southwest of Atlanta, was never put on any lockdown during or after the shooting episode, campus officials said. They added that the man wasn’t a student at the school.  University Police Chief Rus Drew told The Associated Press that officers were called at 2:35 p.m. Sunday and arrived three minutes later to an area near some campus apartments and began chasing the man on foot.

“There was a short foot chase and at some point the suspect turned and faced the officers and shots were fired,” Drew said by phone. He added that while there were some student witnesses, no lockdown was ordered because events unfolded rapidly and authorities had determined an “isolated threat” had been removed.

He added that no students appeared to have been placed in potential danger though he said there were some student witnesses. He did not elaborate and campus officials declined to say how many students were in the apartments or nearby at the time. Bill Sutley, a university spokesman, said campus police had received a report of a man seen loading a gun near the apartments before the chase and that he had been shot by officers.

He said he had no further details about the shooting or why the man was on campus.

The university statement added that a local coroner’s office had confirmed to campus police that the man was later pronounced dead at a hospital where he had been taken by ambulance at 3:15 p.m.

The identity of the man was not immediately made public pending notification of the family, authorities said.

The university said it was cooperating with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, a state law enforcement agency that routinely investigates police-involved shootings.  It also said counselors would be made available to students if needed.

“This is a terrible tragedy,” CSU Tim Mescon said. “We’ll cooperate fully with the investigation ... Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved in this as well as their families.”   

The university, situated near the Georgia line with Alabama, said on its online site that it has more than 8,200 students enrolled in numerous degree programs. The campus is located in downtown Columbus.

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