A shooting at Elizabeth City State University Saturday night put the campus on lock down.
At a news conference today, the ECSU Police Chief Sam Beamon confirmed he spoke with a 23-year-old named Jake (we will not release his last name) and he is back on campus and was shot once in the right thigh. Beamon confirms Jake was shot outside Butler Hall, a university dormitory hall, late Saturday night. The shooting followed an argument earlier in the evening. "Our students tend to want to fight to deal with their issues. Off campus people want to shoot people...take care of your own safety," Beamon said. Beamon is also concerned community elements are coming back to campus to settle arguments.
Jake was taken to Albemarle Hospital where he was treated and released.
Beamon says in response to two shooting incidents on campus since Thursday he is increasing security on campus for the rest of the school year that ends May 11. "We are increasing vehicle stops. We are closing all gates except the main gate begging at 6pm," Beamon says.
We pointed out it is an open campus, "Our campus is gated. It isn't 100% gated, but this helps deter traffic coming in." When we noted that non-students can easily walk onto campus with easy access and without cars Beamon said, "I am aware of that. We are working on that."
University Police and Elizabeth City police, who were on campus for a concert, helped secure the crime scene. This was the annual "Viking Fest" a homecoming type event. Several students thought that Fest led to the Chaos.
A message posted on the University's website Saturday night said, "ECSU is on lock down, one person has been shot and transported to a medical facility. All students in residence halls should remain there. Other students should return to their residence halls. This message comes to you from University Police and the Office of University Relations and Marketing."
Several students we spoke to said they never got a message, Bianca Herring says, "I didn't find out about this from the University for an hour after it happened. They have a big alarm on campus, but I didn't hear anything, and they should send emails as soon as possible."
Chief Beamon insists the Public Information Emergency Response System known as PIER sent out emails. If students did not sign up to get the emails on smart phones they were left in the dark. The University has no active emergency texting system, "Our text messaging has issues...we are working on it."
The University is also assisted by the Elizabeth City Police Department's anti-gang unit. The City police department is providing other assistance too.
According to the school's website alert system , the university remained on lock down until 11:48 pm.
The university is providing counselors to speak with students about the incident. The school is increasing campus security measures for the remainder of the semester.
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