Update on off-campus shooting investigation, new security measures
Morgan State University and Baltimore Police are working together to find those responsible for an off-campus shooting Monday night where MSU students live. A statement released by University officials said students living in Building 1540 reported hearing a weapon being discharged in the building.
A statement released by the University said Morgan State Police and Baltimore City Police were notified and both responded to investigate the incident - treating it as an active situation.
“During the initial phase of the investigation, Morgan students were given a directive to “shelter in place” for safety reasons, particularly those students residing at Morgan View Apartments,” said MSU spokesman Larry Jones. “The shelter in place directive lasted approximately two hours while Baltimore City Police and Morgan State University Police conducted a search of the property and furthered their investigation. The directive was subsequently lifted when it was jointly determined that there was no longer an immediate danger.” Jones said as an additional component of the investigation, the combined police units conducted a door-to-door visit of the residents living in Building 1540 to look for witnesses and to ensure the safety of the premises. No victim or perpetrator was found.
Baltimore Police is leading the investigation. At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, BPD Media Relations Chief T.J. Smith said the shooting happened between the third and fourth floors of Building 1540, but that the shooting happened on the fourth floor. Video surveillance showed three black males getting of an elevator and walking the halls—two walking together and a third walking alone. Smith said it appears that persons of interest may have some kind of knowledge of other, probably had some kind of beef and had a quick exchange of gunfire in the hallway. “We can’t confirm that anyone was struck by gunfire,” said Smith. At this stage we don’t have any victims per se, but we know more than one person was involved in shooting at one another.”
Smith says investigators have checked area hospitals since last night for anyone coming in with unexplained gunshot wounds and so far, there hasn’t been anyone with such injuries. Also, police can’t confirm whether blood was seen in the area of the gunfire as some students have suggested.
“The message to the students is that this is an isolated incident,” said Smith. “Always be vigilant, know who your neighbors are---and that’s where ever you are. We talk about issues like this in rural America, we talk about it in urban America. Know who’s coming into your home setting whether it’s college or not!”
Smith went to say that it fortunate it wasn’t an innocent bystander in the hallway, struck during what he again described as quick exchange of gunfire.
University officials say Morgan View Apartments is gated all around and there’s one was in and one way out. If you’re a resident, you can use the student “Bear” Card to swipe for entry and exit. At the front, there’s a guard posted who will call a resident to confirm a guest is being expected. Police ask residents to take a look at the video footage they have of the persons of interest to contact them at 410-396-2100.
Morgan State says As an additional component of the investigation, the combined police units conducted a door-to-door visit of the residents living in Building 1540 to look for witnesses and to insure the safety of the premises. No victim or perpetrator was found.
Photographs of the individuals will be made available and circulated around campus. Also, the University has been in contact with the Morgan View Apartment management and that the following immediate security measures are being put into place.
- In addition to the security personnel already stationed at the property’s front gate: During the next seven days, there will be 24/7 security personnel placed in each building There will be a dedicated security person placed at the property’s rear gate entrance; and
- A dedicated Morgan State Police officer will be assigned to the Morgan View property during the day and night shifts;
- At the conclusion of the seven-day period, University administrators and the Morgan View Apartment management will convene to reassess the situation and to determine if further security measures are warranted.
“University officials say “the safety of our students and the Morgan Community is a top priority.” Moving forward, the University will be exploring the possibility of placing metal detectors in all residence halls as a security measure. In addition, the University will also be reevaluating the campus escort service and the feasibility of enhancing the service through the use of an outside service. MSU says it will continue to monitor this situation and share more details as they become available.