UPDATES from the Delta State University campus (with amended quotes and information):
CLEVELAND, Mississippi — Chief Buster Bingham, Cleveland Police Department, said Delta State University police were contacted this morning about a shooting in Jobe Hall. The victim has been identified as Professor Ethan Schmidt, and the alleged suspect is at large.
All official information is being released from the law enforcement command center every hour. The command center is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Highway 8.
All faculty, staff and students who have been cleared from academic buildings are being moved to Walter Sillers Coliseum, on the north side campus. Students currently in residence halls should remain there. Donations of food and beverages have been delivered to the Coliseum. Police are working to clear all campus buildings, and students, faculty and staff should stay where they are until they are escorted out.
Classes are cancelled for the remainder of today and tomorrow. Counselors from other public state institutions will be on campus tomorrow to conduct group sessions at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and individual sessions will be available beginning at 10 a.m. The locations for the sessions will be released by 9 a.m. tomorrow.
University Relations Vice President Michelle Roberts said it is a tragic situation, and the entire campus sends its heartfelt thoughts and sympathy to Professor Schmidt’s family.
“We are grieving on this campus with this loss, and our condolences are with the family at this time,” Roberts said.
Law enforcement is actively pursuing every lead to apprehend the person of interest, Shannon Lamb, an employee of the university. At around 2:30 p.m., Bingham said it was not believed the suspect was still on campus, but that they were taking every precaution to keep faculty, students and staff safe.
“We want to say a special thanks to all of the law enforcement officials. As you’ve seen on our campus, they’ve come out from every aspect of this state – state, city and county,” Roberts said. “We really appreciate everything they are doing to apprehend the person of interest, and we feel very confident with the work that they are doing,” she said.
For more information, contact Director of Communications and Marketing Jennifer Farish, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-846-4000. Contact DSU Police 662-846-4155 or CPD 662-843-3611 or BCSD 662-843-5378.