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Suspended Towson University Officer 'A Scapegoat' For Failed Leadership In Triple Shooting On Campus, Police Union Says

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) -- The Towson University Police Union said University President Kim Schatzel is placing undue blame on police response in a triple shooting in the heart of campus Tuesday.

Schatzel announced the suspension of a veteran officer pending an investigation into whether they followed established procedures in the incident.

The shooting happened around 2 a.m. during a gathering of at least 400 people in Freedom Square. Three people, including a student, were injured but only one victim remains hospitalized.

Tuesday, 19-year-old Samuel Nnam was charged in the shooting. He was also one of the three injured and was arrested after being released from the hospital.

Union President Joe Gregory said the union has seen Schatzel "pass the buck" in response to the shooting, and that she and TUPD Chief Charles Herring ordered officers to stand down and take no action against the crowd that night.

"The record is clear," Gregory said in the statement. "The officer complied with this order and had the entire on duty shift in close proximity to the crowd to monitor. When the shooting began, the TUPD officers rushed to the scene as the crowd was fleeing to attend to the wounded and search for the suspect."

Gregory said instead of being suspended, the veteran officer should have been commended for his actions.

"The officer's actions should be commended by the University and Baltimore County, not condemned and made a scapegoat for the failure in leadership at Towson University," Gregory said.

According to the statement, a similar unsanctioned event happened days before the shooting and similar orders were given. The FOP 82 has reportedly been pressuring the administration for more resources and to fill vacancies for months.

Read the full Union announcement here:

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Towson University Police Chief Charles "Joe" Herring said the union's statement was provided by a retired officer and that the claim of a "stand down" order is "reckless, misleading and categorically false."

He added the claim "misrepresents the facts" and hinders the ongoing investigation into the shooting.

"As TU's Office of Public Safety and its staff continue to support the Baltimore County Police investigation into Saturday's shooting, all agencies engaged in this effort remain steadfast in providing timely and accurate information to the public," Herring said.

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