Tuesday’s shooter still at large, students afraid to attend classes
By Megan Robinson
An urgent text to the USC Upstate complex had the entire campus on edge for about 90 minutes Tuesday afternoon. The entire campus was put on lockdown.
A gunman, who wounded a man at the Campus Edge Apartments, was reportedly making his way to the campus by way of the library. The apartments are located off campus and house students and public individuals.
The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s office reported one person, a non-Upstate student, was shot in his left arm at Campus Edge Apartments.
The victim first told deputies he was at the complex to meet someone when he stopped to ask directions, according to a deputy’s report. The victim said the suspect started fidgeting around his waistband, pulled out a gun and started shooting, according to reports. The victim and alleged gunman were not identified by late evening.
The alert to the USC Upstate students via SpartAlert came at 12:43 p.m. “Possible shots fired. Police on scene. Lockdown for Library, Smith, CLC, HPAC.”
Two minutes earlier, 12:41 p.m., the public received that same message while students, faculty and staff were casually unaware of a shooting that occurred across the street, at the apartments on Pinegate Drive.
Students, through social media, were receiving information that shots were fired at the apartments and the reported suspect, described as a black male wearing khaki pants and grey hoodie, carrying an automatic weapon, was on foot near campus, according to a campus administration tweet. A deputy would later confirm that information was inaccurate.
Those in the library were among the first individuals to become aware of the situation. “I heard a lady over the loud speaker say that the library was on lockdown until further notice,” freshman Jalasia Lee told The Carolinian.
“I heard the shots but I was listening to music at the time and wasn’t entirely sure what they were,” another student and Campus Edge resident told The Carolinian. “When I started getting the texts from the school it definitely freaked me out. It was unnerving to learn how close it was and that they hadn’t caught the shooter but I’m just staying in my apartment for a while.”
Jadasia Bennett, Campus Edge resident, told FOX news, she and her friends “heard about four shots” from within their apartment complex, and then a fifth shot moments later. Police arrived shortly after, questioning Bennett and other tenants about the incident.
The all clear was sent out via text notification at 1:54 p.m.
There were reports students feared returning to campus with the gunman still on the loose. A professor reported emails similar to the one below arrived before a late afternoon class.
“… I don’t feel comfortable coming to class today because I just called campus police and they basically said that they lifted the lockdown because they lost sight of the suspect. Since they can’t find the suspect I still feel like my safety is in danger, I’m sorry for any inconvenience.”