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Students recount moments after WIU shooting

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Macomb-WIU shooting-09162020

MACOMB (WGEM) -- The moments after a shooting on the campus of Western Illinois University in Macomb Tuesday night were filled with chaos and fear, students said.

University officials said a WIU student was shot by his roommate in Thompson Hall.

"I didn't think I would ever experience something like this, never," said Jamisha Murdock, a freshman.

Students said someone pulled the fire alarm after the shooting around 10:38 p.m.

“There was this girl that was coming down the stairs and she was just hysterical. She didn't want to talk to anyone. People were asking if she's okay and she was just pushing them out of the way trying to get down the stairs," WIU senior Logan Speaks said. "Right then I knew this feels a little off. This doesn't really happen. People aren’t this hysterical about a fire alarm.”

WIU spokesperson Darcie Shinberger said it was unknown if the suspect tripped the fire alarm.

Law enforcement outside Thompson Hall.

Freshman Sam Jones said all students evacuated the residence hall.

"We were like kind of suspicious. Then, my friend said that he saw a police officer with a rifle run into the building," Jones said.

That's when Jones knew it wasn't a fire drill.

"I knew like something bad happened," he said.

Jones was texting his parents and friends when a friend told him a student had been shot.

"Then, I smelled gun residue in the air and that's when I actually started to get kind of worried," said Jones. "Two friends called me and said, 'there was a shooting.'"

Jones said after students were evacuated from Thompson Hall, they were brought to Western Hall, where they were told to wait for further instruction.

Students were evacuated from Thompson Hall and brought to Western Hall.

"When it was confirmed that someone was shot, I got like really worried. My voice was getting kind of shakey. I had to kind of move away from my friends and catch my breath," Jones said.

Thompson Hall following the evacuation.

"I was scared for a minute because everybody was like he is still in the building," Murdock said.

Students described the campus as "eerie," knowing the gunman was on the loose.

"I might not stay on campus no more. I might move back home," Murdock said.

"Now that I'm here and this actually happened to us, it's just kind of like, holy crap this can happen to anyone," Jones said.

The university said campus counselors were assisting students.

Police identified the suspect as Kavion Poplous, 18, of Chicago, who is a freshman at WIU. Authorities said Poplous was "armed and dangerous" and a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

WIU identified the suspect as freshman Kavion Poplous, 18.

WIU Interim President Martin Abraham said the injured student was transferred to another hospital overnight where he had surgery. His condition was not known Wednesday morning.

No other injuries were reported.

WIU student shoots roommate

Jim Roberts

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