State

Central Michigan University shooter attended Plainfield schools

Suspect allegedly shot both of his parents

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – The 19-year-old suspect who fatally shot two people at a Central Michigan University residence hall Friday attended Plainfield schools.

The shooting prompted officials to put the campus on lockdown as police searched for a 19-year-old suspect described as armed and dangerous, officials said.

Investigators said neither victim was a student and described the shooting as a "family-type domestic situation." Police declined to confirm a Detroit Free Press report citing unnamed sources that said the suspect, James Eric Davis Jr., had fatally shot his parents when they came to pick him up for spring break.

Davis graduated from Plainfield Central High School in 2016 after attending Plainfield South High School for three years, according to Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 spokesman Tom Hernandez.

"We will not comment beyond that out of respect for the family," Hernandez said.

Davis played on the basketball team at Plainfield Central, former classmate Myles Turner said. Turner said via a direct message on Twitter that when he moved to Plainfield, Davis was one of the first people he met at school.

"[He was] a positive and peaceful individual to not only me and my teammates, but to everyone we met together," Turner said.

Illinois State Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch, D-Westchester, tweeted on Friday about one of the victims of the shooting, James Davis Sr., who was a police officer in Bellwood.

"The shooting at Central Michigan University today strikes close to home," Welch said in the tweet. "A sad day in Bellwood and across the 7th District. My sincerest condolences go out to the family of Bellwood Police Officer James Davis Sr. and his wife who were shot and killed this morning. May they RIP."

No other injuries were immediately reported. The university, which has about 23,000 students, urged students to take shelter.

The school posted an alert about 9:30 a.m. on social media about shots being fired at Campbell Hall, a dorm on the campus in Mount Pleasant, which is about 70 miles north of Lansing. An automated phone message from the school also was sent to students.

The shooting occurred on the last day of classes before spring break. Parents who were trying to pick up students were told to stay off campus and go to a local hotel where staff would assist them.

Halie Byron, 20, said she locked herself in her off-campus house, about a 10-minute walk from Campbell Hall. She had planned to run errands before traveling home to the Detroit area.

"It's scary thinking about how easy a shooter can come into a college campus anywhere – a classroom, a library. There's so much easy access," Byron said.

In the surrounding community, students and staff in the Mount Pleasant school district were told not to leave nine buildings. Visitors also weren't being allowed to enter.

• Herald-News reporter Alex Ortiz contributed to this report

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