Gunfire kills 1, wounds 7 at Grambling State
It’s the second deadly shooting on the university campus in four days
GRAMBLING, La. (KSLA) — One person was killed and seven others were wounded, one critically, in a shooting in Grambling State University’s quad area about 1:15 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 17.
The identity of the non-student who was killed has not yet been released.
Among the wounded is one student, and that person’s injuries are not life-threatening, a Louisiana State Police spokesman said during a news conference Sunday afternoon at Grambling State.
This is the second deadly shooting on the university campus in four days.
“It’s outsiders who have created these situations that have put life and limb in danger,” Grambling State President Rick Gallot said during a news conference Sunday afternoon. “We are not going to stand for it. We will not spare any effort to make sure that our campus is safe.”
Homecoming activities have been underway all week at Grambling State. State troopers, both in uniform and in plain clothes, as well as personnel from multiple other law enforcement agencies were on campus.
Now the school is further restricting access to the campus by non-students and limiting extracurricular activities, Gallot said.
Security measures already include roadblocks to restrict traffic in the evenings, curfews as necessary and requiring students to show their IDs. Gallot assured parents that their children are safe and said “we will find ways to continue to ensure our students’ safety.”
The campus was cleared to resume normal operations following the lockdown. But homecoming activities for Sunday have been canceled, and no classes will be held Monday and Tuesday.
A homecoming activity was underway in McCall Dining Center when the shooting occurred, and security was on hand for that event, according to a statement released by the school.
“The campus-sanctioned event happened maybe 100 yards away from where this happened,” Louisiana State Police Master Trooper Michael Reichardt said. “It’s hard to say whether it was part of the sanctioned event or not. It was in close proximity of the event.”
Everyone there sheltered in place then they were released when campus police gave the all-clear signal.
Grambling State freshman Malik Matthews told KSLA News 12 that the shooting came out of nowhere. “I ain’t never seen that many bodies drop like that. ... “It was tragic what happened last night.”
Now the immediate focus is on providing counseling for students and employees and conducting wellness checks, Gallot said. Other steps will be taken as the need presents itself, he added.
Also, seven days of fasting and prayer for healing for the campus and community began at noon Sunday, Gallot said.
A campus security update posted on the university’s website provides more details:
CURFEW: “After consultation with student leaders, it was concluded that a curfew be enforced from 9:30 p.m. through 6 a.m. This will be in effect until further notice.”
COUNSELING SERVICES: “Counselors are available and can be reached at (231) 335-7038, (318) 303-6499 or (504) 358-0937. You can also let us know how you’re doing at link.gram.edu/status.”
CLASSES: All classes (face-to-face, hybrid, hyflex and online) are canceled Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 18-19.
REPORTING TO WORK: All staffers are to report to work Monday, Oct. 18 at their regularly scheduled time. Key academic personnel (deans, chairpersons) will receive communication from the provost and vice president for academic affairs. Those who have concerns about returning to campus should send them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOOD SERVICES: Hours of operation for McCall Dining Center have been revised to 6 a.m. through 9:30 p.m. daily. Retail locations will open Tuesday, Oct. 17 at regular hours.
CAMPUS SAFETY AND SECURITY: Call (318) 274-2222 if you need assistance.
Authorities blame the violence on outsiders who have a reckless disregard for life and the safety of others. “We are not going to stand for it,” one official said.
In a statement released prior to the news conference, Gallot said:
“Our campus community has worked tirelessly to keep our students and others safe for the homecoming activities. Yet with all of our planning and coordination with our local, parish, regional and state law enforcement partners, we still find ourselves grieving the loss of life and injuries just as too many communities in our country have experienced as well. Why would someone come to the campus of our Dear Ole Grambling and shoot innocent people?”
He repeated those sentiments during the news conference. “Why would someone come to campus and commit an act of violence?”
And the Grambling State president said his university now finds itself at the same crossroads and asking the same questions as other schools and communities throughout the nation.
“How do we stop the violence? How do we stop the killing?”
Authorities have released no information about a possible suspect or suspects in Sunday’s shooting.
They have identified a resident of the Delhi, La., area as a suspect in the deadly shooting that occurred on campus Wednesday, Oct. 13 and have obtained a warrant for his arrest.
Louisiana State Police is heading up the investigations into both shootings.
Authorities urge anyone with any information about the shootings to call Louisiana State Police Troop F at (318) 345-0000 or Grambling State police at (318) 374-2222.
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