Baltimore police are seeking the public’s help in identifying four “persons of interest” as they hunt for the gunman who opened fire at Morgan State University during a homecoming Tuesday night.
Investigators believe at least two and possibly more gunmen were involved in the shooting that injured five people, including four students. The new video shows four young men walking through a grassy area on the school’s campus.
Baltimore Police Chief Richard Worley said Wednesday that detectives know there was more than one weapon at the scene, but they don’t know if more than one weapon was used.
Worley also said the shooting was the result of a “dispute” between two groups of people. The victims were not the intended targets, but rather innocent bystanders. All five victims are expected to survive.
Shortly after the shooting, dramatic footage emerged showing heavily armed SWAT teams going from dormitory to dormitory looking for the shooters.
At least two people opened fire Tuesday night during a dispute between two groups at Morgan State University’s homecoming events
A short video released by police shows four men walking in a grassy area of the campus prior to the shooting
The video then cuts to show three men, at least one wearing a backpack, walking in the opposite direction
All other homecoming events and classes were canceled for the remainder of the week, including Saturday’s football game, university President David Wilson announced late Wednesday afternoon.
Wilson said the regrettable decision was “the very first time in Morgan’s history” that such events had been cancelled. On Wednesday afternoon, some students were seen leaving campus with duffel bags and suitcases.
“Today we unfortunately have to endure this tragic event at a time when we should be celebrating,” Wilson said in a letter to the university community.
The updates from police Wednesday morning helped quell rumors circulating online about whether the attack was racially motivated or a planned school shooting on the historically black college campus in northeast Baltimore.
The shooting occurred around 9:30 p.m., shortly after a coronation ceremony for this year’s Mister and Miss Morgan State in the campus auditorium. Attendees walked from the hall to the student center for a coronation ball, which was about to begin when gunfire sent people scattering in fear.
The gunshot victims – four men and one woman – are between 18 and 22 years old. Four are Morgan State students.
City police and university officials initially warned students of an active shooter and ordered them to take shelter for hours while SWAT officers went door to door looking for suspects.
Worley said police heard gunshots and several dorm windows were broken, so officials initially thought there was an active shooter and acted accordingly.
One video showed officers marching down a hallway asking if anyone heard anything shooting
The shattered windows resulting from the gunfire shown Wednesday
All other homecoming events and classes have been canceled for the remainder of the week, including Saturday’s football game, university President David Wilson announced
On campus Wednesday afternoon, workers were replacing windows and cleaning up broken glass as students walked around. Some commented on the evolving crime scene, which included blood splatter on a concrete walkway and yellow crime tape criss-crossing the adjacent courtyard.
At an entrance to campus, a neon sign flashed: “Morgan family, Morgan strong.”
Emani Jones-Grant, a freshman from New Jersey, said her family planned to pick her up Thursday instead of visiting for homecoming weekend. She said she enjoys college overall, but the shooting left her and others feeling shaken.
“The atmosphere is weird,” she said. ‘A lot of people talk about a weekend away.’
Michelle Newman said she drove from New York after receiving panicked calls from her daughter, a college freshman who was having a panic attack Tuesday night when the shooting occurred, saying a bullet had come through her dorm room window.
“She was hysterical,” Newman said. “She called to ask what to do.”
Newman said she planned to take her daughter home where she would feel safe.
The chaos of the previous night was still fresh in people’s minds.
Officers entered darkened rooms to search for the gunmen, who are still at large
Students remained huddled in cramped rooms for hours as officers continued to search
Another video shows officers asking students to lift their shirts to check for firearms
Jennifer Eden, 34, of Baltimore, was attending the coronation ceremony and was walking to the student center with a friend when shots rang out and people started running.
“I had never been so close to gunfire that I could feel the vibrations in the air,” Eden said. ‘Coronation is an event with great pomp and ceremony. People wear dresses and tuxedos and crowns and sashes, and so gun violence is the furthest thing from my mind in those types of environments.”
But there was also violence at previous homecoming celebrations at Morgan State.
During a news conference on campus Wednesday, a reporter from the university’s student newspaper asked officials how they plan to deal with what has become a trend: Last October, a young man was shot during what officials called an unsanctioned afterparty at called the campus. and the year before, a freshman was arrested and charged with shooting his classmate during homecoming weekend.
Morgan State University Police Chief Lance Hatcher said the department has taken “extraordinary measures to bring additional security resources to campus” in recent years, including increased police presence and surveillance camera coverage. University police officers heard the gunshots while patrolling the campus Tuesday evening and responded almost immediately to provide assistance, officials said.
“Unfortunately, individuals on campus are reacting and behaving badly,” he said. “Often you can’t stop a bad actor from doing bad things, but we will continue to try to keep our students safe.”
Advocates and local leaders said the shooting highlights the drumbeat of trauma students are experiencing in schools across the country.
Evidence markers are pictured outside a building at Morgan State University
“It should not be lost on anyone that this shooting occurred during homecoming week for a generation that grew up with school target drills and mass shootings,” said Kris Brown, president of Brady, a national group that advocates for stricter gun controls. .
“Gun violence is an everyday occurrence for this generation, and it now follows them into adulthood.”
“This isn’t the first time something has happened during homecoming week at Morgan, so there’s a lot of soul searching that I think we all need to do,” Baltimore City Councilwoman Odette Ramos, whose district includes part of the campus of Morgan State includes. , said during a council hearing Wednesday afternoon.
“But it’s also about guns.”
Speaking to the media Wednesday morning, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott reiterated his demand for Congress to pass substantive gun reform. He called the shooting a “sickening reminder… of how commonplace these incidents have become.”
Maryland Governor Wes Moore also condemned the violence at the start of a board meeting on Wednesday. The Democratic governor said the state is providing resources to help the university.
“We as a society cannot allow this to continue,” he said.
Anyone with any information is asked to call police at 410-396-2444 and Metro Crime Stoppers at 866-7LOCKUP.