Two fatal shootings have taken place at Grambling State University within the same week. This Louisiana school’s Homecoming week was ruined by these tragic shootings, which killed two and wounded several others. The students and members of the community are mourning the tragic loss of their peers and actively seeking to keep their campus safe again.
The first shooting occurred on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 by two individuals that do not attend the university. After a disagreement, they opened fire on each other on campus, minorly injuring each other. Two University students received non-life-threatening injuries while caught in the crossfire early Wednesday morning. The third non-student, Damarius Murphy, tragically died due to his gunshot wounds. One suspect, 18-year-old Jatavious “Rabbit” Carroll, has a warrant out for multiple charges including second degree murder and possession of a firearm.
The second shooting took place Sunday, October 17, 2021 around 1 a.m. The unidentified shooter opened fire on the campus quad, injuring 8 people, outside the McCall Dining Center. Of the victims, 7 are expected to make a full recovery, while the last individual unfortunately died due to their injuries. GSU’s homecoming events took place this week, increasing the amount of activity and people on campus. This shooting happened during a homecoming party early Sunday morning. A video captured the paralyzing sound of the gunshots and the student’s reactions. This video was originally capturing a small brawl in the busy quad, then eight louds bangs can be heard in the video while people start to scramble and run, tripping over each other seeking safety. Some individuals are seen staying at the scene of the shooting to help the wounded.
One witness recalled, “It was chaos. All you [saw were] people running, gunshots. . . bodies dropping.” The students of Grambling State University are rallying around each other in support after this traumatic event. The President of the University, Rick Gallot, stated in a news conference the afternoon of October 17 that his heart went out to everyone affected by these events and he feels as if he has not done all he can to protect the campus. The local law enforcement is doing everything in their power to identify the suspect of the second shooting, as well as keeping the campus safe.
Grambling State University issued a statement in response to these unfortunate shootings, which can be found on their website. The University is cancelling the remaining homecoming events for Sunday as well as in-person and online classes until Tuesday, October 19. They have put in place a curfew from 9:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. to ensure maximum safety to all those on campus. The University has also offered counseling resources to students and staff after this traumatizing event. They have increased security until the campus is safe again by placing state troopers in uniform as well as undercover. Although these two shootings are not correlated, Grambling State University is taking precautionary measures to prevent a similar event from occurring in the future. These two incidents are still under investigation.