Education

Off-campus incident led to shooting at Allen University, police say

Two people are being sought after two students were shot on the Allen University campus Sunday night, campus police said.

The shooting occurred following an off-campus incident, Campus Police Chief Kelvin Davis said in a Thursday interview with The State.

According to Davis, some Allen students went off campus, to what he believes was a nightclub, where something happened that led to a dispute.

Sometime after the students returned to Allen’s Columbia campus, the two suspects also showed up and a fight broke out, Davis said.

During the confrontation, one of the suspects went behind a building, got a gun and opened fire, according to Davis.

Davis said the Allen students suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the shooting.

Davis called one injury a flesh wound, saying the other student was shot in the arm. Further information on the students’ condition was not available.

A Columbia police officer initially responded to the shooting and applied a tourniquet to a victim’s wound, department spokesperson Jennifer Timmons told The State.

Columbia police are continuing to assist Allen University’s investigation, Timmons said.

The chief said based on witness statements he does not believe either person is an Allen University student, and one of them has been identified. That suspect is expected to be charged with breach of peace, Davis said.

Witnesses will be looking at a lineup of photos in an effort to identify the gunman, according to Davis.

Davis said more people could be arrested, but he said based on statements from witnesses, neither of the shooting victims were involved in the fight.

“Our main focus is getting the shooter into custody,” Davis said.

No alert was issued after the shooting because there was “no chance of a repeated threat,” according to Davis.

“It was a gray area,” Davis said of Sunday’s shooting, which did not meet the criteria for an alert because campus police determined the threat was gone.

The chief encouraged Allen students to sign up for the campus alert system, and said the university has held active shooter training workshops each of the past two days at Chappelle Auditorium. The training sessions had been scheduled weeks ago, Davis said.

Allen University was founded by former slaves in 1870, and is a Christian liberal arts institution grounded in the principles of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, according to the school’s website. It is located in the area near the intersection of Taylor and Harden streets.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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