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A place where students felt safe and protected quickly became fearful, when an active campus shooting shook and terrified Morgan State University on Tuesday night.
On October 3, students attended the coronation ceremony of the Mister and Miss Morgan State University. Shortly after the homecoming event ended, gun fire commenced.
Gunshots emerged from the arts center and near dorm rooms, as many windows were shattered.
At around 9:27 p.m., campus police became aware of the campus shooting and prompted students to follow protocol.
Three minutes later, campus safety alerts began flooding Morgan State University students phones.
The alerts warned them to make it back to their dorm rooms and stay away from the arts center and Thurgood Marshall Hall.
The Black Wall Street Times reached out to Breena Dorsett, a student at MSU. Dorsett stated, “Someone had posted the Baltimore City Police Northeast District Live Audio Feed in our building group chat with no explanation. I listened for three minutes, hearing officials give street names that bordered the school.”
Dorsett continued, “I was honestly shocked and confused.”
She explained, “Someone had posted the “Baltimore City Police Northeast District Live Audio Feed” in our building group chat with no explanation. I listened for like 3 minutes and heard the police officers giving street names that bordered the school. I didn’t understand so I looked up Morgan State University on Google and that’s when I saw that there was an active shooter.”
Dorsett said, “I’m still in disbelief, no one ever thinks that something like this would happen to their school, so the fact that they did especially on a night where students and families are coming together for the coronation is mad.”
“For it to end that way, it’s very disappointing and disheartening,” said Dorsett.
Parents were paralyzed with fear, worried for their children’s safety. They gathered near the south entrance, watching a helicopter circle over the campus.
In the midst of the madness, the shooter wounded five people, four of them being students.
Students were under lockdown for about three hours, until the university tweeted that the protocol was lifted and shuttles were resuming. Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley claimed that SWAT officials checked all buildings and rooms twice before deciding to release students.
Police confirmed four men and one woman between the ages of 18-22 suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The suspect still has not be found and officials are trying to determined whether the individual acted alone or had help.
Morgan State University experiences common theme at HBCUs
Attending an HBCU myself, I know what was going through the mind of those students. The constant fear and horror, wondering if tomorrow would be a similar day, the fear of going to class the next week or even to step outside the dorm room.
Former MSU student, Nyasia Chavis said, “Everyone is worried about what the next step is and what to do next.”
“I was honestly in shock.” Chavis continued, “Everyone expected something to happen the day of Homecoming because the past two years two people were shot but it was never expected it to be in a dorm building.”
Chavis still has questions about the abrupt shooting, “Were these people targeted or was it just a random shooting to cause chaos?”
“Everyone’s just worried about what the next step is and where we go from here”, she stated.
Parents are hesitant to send students back out of fear that their child could be victimized similarly.
Unfortunately, campus shootings occur at many universities, especially at HBCUs. Many individuals attempt to inflict harm amongst students of color for no plausible explanation beyond hate.
The thought of a campus shooting is a daily concern for HBCU students.
These students could not even enjoy their Homecoming week without something terrible occurring.
For MSU students, a week filled with activities, football games, and concerts quickly turned into panic, condolences, and tears.
No student should have to experience this.
Understanding the trauma that occurs after witnessing and being wounded by gunfire, many of those students may never feel safe at their beloved Charm City campus again.