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Morgan State mass shooting: Multiple weapons involved when 5 were shot, Baltimore police say

Morgan State mass shooting: Baltimore police say multiple weapons involved when 5 were shot
Morgan State mass shooting: Baltimore police say multiple weapons involved when 5 were shot 03:29

BALTIMORE -- Multiple weapons were involved in a shooting on Morgan State University's campus that left five people injured Tuesday night, Baltimore police said. 

A search is ongoing for suspects, and no arrests have been announced in the shooting. 

Investigators believe there was a dispute between two groups when gunfire erupted near a dorm on the university's campus, Acting Police Commissioner Richard Worley said Wednesday. At least three people are believed to have been armed. 

Four men and one woman between the ages of 18 and 22 were shot, and all were hospitalized with non-life-threatening wounds. Worley said one of those victims has been released from the hospital as of Wednesday morning. The conditions of the remaining victims was not immediately clear. 

Worley said those shot were bystanders and not intended targets. Four of them are students at the historically Black university based in Northeast Baltimore. 

Officers responded to the 1700 block of Argonne Drive -- the area of the Marshall Apartment Complex dorms -- after Morgan State University Police on patrol heard gunfire around 9:25 p.m., according to authorities.

Investigators believe the shooting happened outside, but multiple windows appear to have been shattered in the incident. There is no word yet on a motive in the shooting. 

Following the reports of gunfire, officers asked everyone to shelter in place and avoid the area. WJZ obtained video of police checking the dorm rooms.

The incident was no longer considered an active shooting about 75 minutes after police responded. 

Anyone with information is urged to contact Baltimore police at 410-396-2444. Those who wish to remain anonymous may utilize the Metro Crime Stoppers tip line at 1-866-7LOCKUP.   

A worrisome homecoming trend

The shooting happened shortly after the crowning of Mr. and Ms. Morgan State University, a kickoff to homecoming week events at the school. Class is canceled Wednesday. 

"This was such a senseless act of violence perpetrated on our community after what was a family-filled and fun evening of celebrating the pageantry and beauty of our students," university president Dr. David Wilson said in a statement. "But Morgan is a strong family and we will march on with determination to keep moving on. "

Homecoming week activities scheduled for this week will be reevaluated as part of an emergency meeting Wednesday morning with school officials, Wilson said. 

The shooting marks the third year in a row of a shooting during the university's homecoming week. 

In 2022, a 20-year-old man was shot at Morgan State University during an unsanctioned homecoming party. That person was not a university student.

In 2021, an 18-year-old Morgan State University student was shot on campus following the university's homecoming activities.

Baltimore City Councilwoman Odette Ramos told WJZ she was horrified for the campus and the students when she heard of the shooting.

"It's been a sad, sad evening, especially since Morgan has homecoming coming up, and that is usually a big celebration of how wonderful campus is and still is," she said.

Ramos said she was relieved to find out that the gunshot victims would be able to recover from their injuries.

"I'm here to show my support to the students," she said.

Watch: Baltimore City Councilwoman Odette Ramos talks about the shooting at MSU

Baltimore City Councilwoman Odette Ramos talks about the shooting at MSU 03:18

Leaders, parents and students express concern 

In a statement to WJZ, Maryland Governor Wes Moore said, "My office is aware of the shooting incident on the Morgan State University campus. My team and I are in close contact with officials on the ground and are monitoring the situation. We are grateful for the heroic efforts of the first responders who rushed to the scene and are actively working to ensure safety." 

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott made a powerful call for national gun reform during the news conference, saying guns shouldn't be "in the hands of people who should not have them" and comparing the situation to the moves to require seatbelts in vehicles and warn the public about the health dangers posed by cigarettes.

"We have to deal with this issue nationally," he said. "We have to get serious about guns."

Following the reports of gunfire, Baltimore Police and Morgan State University officials began urging family members of students to avoid the campus area. Instead, they could convene at the Safeway parking lot, which is at 4401 Harford Road.

Family and friends told WJZ that they were worried about their loved ones after learning about the shooting.

Jose Verdejo said his daughter is a freshman at Morgan. He drove two hours from New Jersey to the campus when a family friend told her about the shooting. 

"I called my daughter, she told me she was locked in a library but she didn't know what was going on," he said. "So I had I did let her know there was a shooting, I told her to stay away from windows, and then that made them nervous."

Verdejo said he doesn't know how the school can make him feel comfortable leaving his daughter there. Especially after consecutive homecoming week shootings, he feels those in charge of keeping her safe were "sleeping."

I'm not going to leave my daughter behind until I feel comfortable. So I'm not leaving till I speak to someone and I can get assurances that you know, I can leave my daughter in their care," he said. "And so far, I don't feel assured at all."

Watch: Parent of MSU freshman speaks out after five shot on campus

Parent of Morgan State University freshman speaks out after five shot on campus 03:43

A man by the name of Antonio told WJZ's Cristina Mendez that his brother was locked down in one of the bathrooms.

"Right now, my brother just texted my mom saying that they're just locked down in the stadium's bathrooms right now just waiting for when they can leave out," Antonio said.

Tony Jones, a staff writer at The Athletic, said on social media that his daughter was at Morgan State University during the shooting and that it happened at her dorm. Police believe the shooting happened outdoors. 

"Praying for Morgan State University tonight," he said on his social media site. "I urge you to say a prayer as well, if you believe."

Multiple agencies investigating 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are assisting Baltimore Police Department in the investigation. 

Anyone with information is urged to contact Baltimore police at 410-396-2444. Those who wish to remain anonymous may utilize the Metro Crime Stoppers tip line at 1-866-7LOCKUP. 

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