NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Baltimore police are looking for four people who may be responsible for shooting multiple people on the campus of Morgan State University.
On Tuesday, police were called after five bystanders were shot following gunfire during homecoming week. All five victims have non-life-threatening injuries, according to investigators.
However, this week’s shooting at a Historically Black College/ University is highlighting the importance of school safety.
“I was heartbroken and I know the chief,” said Gregory Robinson, the Chief of Police for Tennessee State University. “To hear that at a location with someone you know personally and you know it’s heartfelt and prayers go out to the family, and prayers go out to the university, but it’s just heartbreaking that this happened at a place of higher learning.”
As the nation watched what unfolded at Morgan State University, worry and concern continued to be felt not just in Maryland, but at campuses across the United States.
“I wish I could sit here and tell you nothing will ever happen, but that wouldn’t be the truth, but what we always say is we prepare for occurrences,” Robinson said.
At TSU, safety is always the priority, but when shootings happen on college campuses, it’s understandable to see how other universities approach safety. Robinson told News 2 that they are constantly working to ensure not only the students are safe, but also the surrounding community working with the Metro Nashville Police Department.
“We’re adding additional security; we’ve even added third-party security companies to help supplement what we’re bringing to the TSU campus and community environment. I always say you can never, ever have enough visibility to be a deterrent,” he said.
Shootings on college campuses are not uncommon. Last year, three members of the University of Virginia’s football team were shot and killed on campus. The incident happened on a charter bus after returning to school following a field trip to Washington, D.C. Two others were shot and survived.
In December 2022, four students were stabbed to death in their off-campus home in Idaho. The killings brought national attention after their deaths shocked the rural Idaho community.
“I wish we could always say, ‘Ma’am, I promise you nothing will ever happen.’ No police department can do that, but what we can promise is that we’ll do everything we possibly can to continue to be proactive and preventive,” said Robinson.
Across the United States, there is no one department tracking the number of campus shootings that happen. Even if it did exist, it would be hard to keep track due to so many students living and working around college communities.
The Violence Project Database, however, gives insight into mass shootings on college campuses, dating back to 1966. The database showed nine different schools had more than four people who were shot and killed, the number considered to be labeled a mass shooting.
“For those who decide to come on this jewel of a campus and inflict this pain and trauma on to this community, we’re going to find you. We won’t stop. Turn yourself in because we are not going to tolerate that happening here or anywhere else,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott.
This week, the TSU Student Government Association sent a letter to Morgan State expressing condolences for what happened.
The full letter wrote:
“To the Morgan State University family,
We would like to express our heartfelt prayers and best wishes to the Morgan State University community. The news of the recent tragedy on your campus has deeply concerned the TSU family. Our sympathy extends to your students, faculty, staff, and families who were impacted by this devastating event. We want you to know that you are not alone in this difficult time, and we stand in solidarity with you as you navigate through the aftermath of this incident. The objective is to raise awareness regarding campus safety on HBCU campuses, and we join and support in this initiative.
In times like these, it is essential for the HBCU community to unite and support each other. The 83rd Administration and the student body here at STU will be praying for strength and resilience on the campus of Morgan State University.Derrell Taylor (TSU SGA President), Chrishonda O’Quinn (TSU SGA Executive Vice President)