A shooting during Morgan State University’s homecoming celebration in Baltimore, Maryland, resulted in injuries to five individuals, prompting a prolonged lockdown of the campus.
The incident, which took place on Tuesday, led to the injury of four university students and another individual. Consequently, the institution remained on lockdown for an extended period.
In a subsequent press briefing on Wednesday, Police Commissioner Richard Worley revealed that the injured were four males and one female, all aged between 18 and 22.
Morgan State Police Chief Lance Hatcher also confirmed that most of the injured were enrolled as students at the university.
The incident reportedly transpired soon after the crowning of Mister & Miss Morgan State at the Murphy Fine Arts Center amid the homecoming festivities.
In light of reports of gunshots and damage to several dormitory windows, authorities initially treated the situation as an active shooter scenario, thereby initiating a relevant response. The lockdown was lifted around 12:30 a.m. after SWAT personnel ascertained the safety of a building where the alleged shooter was suspected.
During the lockdown, police officers were seen searching for the perpetrator door-to-door. Keimani Bell, a freshman at Morgan State, provided video footage showcasing SWAT teams methodically clearing buildings.
Addressing the media, Mayor Brandon Scott (D-Md.) underscored the broader issue of gun violence. “This isn’t solely a Baltimore challenge,” he remarked. “Mayors nationwide will concur that there’s a pervasive gun issue, with firearms in possession of those who shouldn’t have them. We require a nationwide strategy to tackle it.”
Although the investigation remains ongoing, Mayor Scott conveyed his current belief that racial motives weren’t a factor in the incident.
Morgan State’s President, David Wilson, announced the suspension of Wednesday’s classes. Moreover, counseling services have been arranged for students in need.
No arrests have been made, and it’s reassuring to note that none of the injuries sustained are life-threatening.
Apart from mass shootings, over 300 gunfire incidents on university grounds have resulted in 94 fatalities and 215 injuries. However, regulations regarding this can shift quite rapidly.
For instance, in 2021, Montana passed a law preventing universities from prohibiting firearms on their premises. Yet, just a year later, the Montana Supreme Court deemed this law unconstitutional, granting educational institutions the autonomy to establish firearms policies.
A study by Johns Hopkins University delved into the connection between state firearms regulations and incidents of gun violence on campuses. The findings revealed that laws permitting firearms on campuses did not mitigate the occurrence of mass shootings. Moreover, easy access to guns significantly heightens the potential for suicide among the youth. Furthermore, the availability of firearms can amplify the consequences of aggressive or impulsive actions.