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Priztker addresses WIU shooting during Macomb visit

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Governor Pritzker stopped in Macomb on Friday to talk about the importance of completing the census but also talked about the shooting that happened at Western Illinois University earlier this week.

He says he's glad to know that the victim of Tuesday night's shooting in Thompson Hall is recovering and that the accused gunman, 18-year-old Kavion Poplous, who was also the victim's roommate, is in custody.

"Obviously we're all deeply concerned to make sure that our schools, our universities, our K 12 institutions and so on are safe to attend. It does sound like this was an isolated incident between two people," Pritzker said.

Pritzker also touted the cooperation he saw between local and the Illinois state police.

"They were here at WIU for the initial investigation and are always available to make sure the students at WIU as well as the faculty and all of the people who work here at the university as well as everyone here are safe," he said.

WIU geography professor Chris Sutton said he was impressed by the collaboration between local and state officials when everything went down.

"I think he spoke to the coordinated effort we saw here in Macomb between local, county and state law enforcement which was extraordinary," he said.

Sutton said he feels safe in his classroom but says he's not so sure the students he teaches feel the same way.

"I had several students who lived in the residence hall where this occurred who were pretty emotionally affected by this so part of my job as a professor is to help my student through these kinds of situations," he said.

A tough ask for students far from their traditional support systems but Sutton said everyone came together to do just that.

"The campus community, the student residential dining services and so forth converged with the counseling crisis folks and took the students from the situation and provided those kinds of footholds," he said.

As far as added safety measures, Governor Pritzker did not mention any additional steps at this point.

Sutton said he wouldn't be surprised if those conversations are happening at the local level."

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Blake Sammann

Blake Sammann is a reporter and weekend anchor at WGEM News.

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