Reports of an active shooter on campus at Mississippi State University sent shockwaves through the country in one of the first days of the fall semester. A campus wide alert was put out by the school in Starkville, Mississippi, telling students to seek shelter. An hour after the lockdown began, a suspected gunman was taken into custody by local police. He has been named as freshman Fhu-Qui Cong ‘Bill’ Nguyen.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. The Incident Was Caused by a Suicidal Student
The suspected gunman is in custody, according to the school. The armed person was arrested at McCool Hall, MSU’s business choold, according to MSU’s Athletic Director Scott Stricklin. The Clarion-Ledger’s Therese Apel tweeted that the situation was caused by a suicidal student.
2. After the All-Clear, Rumors Spread Online About a Second Shooter
Despite the apprehension, students and staff remained on lockdown for another hour. The school’s newspaper The Reflector, told students to “Continue to exercise caution on campus and stay where you are.” The school continued to be searched by local police with the Lowndes SWAT team being deployed in a support role into the afternoon. Classes were suspended until 2 p.m. WCBI News reported, quoting a school source, that there was no truth to the online chatter about a second shooter. A graduate student at the school, Pranaav Jadhav, tweeted that those rumors may have been caused by a car tyre screeching. Therese Apel later reported that she spoke to the parent of a student, that student said that “somebody screamed on the drill field causing everyone to run.”
3. There Were No Reported Injuries
WCBI News reports that there are no injuries thought at this time. OCH Regional Medical Center, the closest hospital to the school, further confirmed this by saying they have not received any patients from this school recently. MSU’s Twitter account said that no shots were fired at the school.
4. The School Has 20,000 Students
The full name for MSU is the Mississippi State University of Agriculture and Applied Science. It’s located in Starkville, Mississsipi and has a student body of over 20,000 people. Starkville is known as “Mississippi’s College Town.” Lee Hall, where the gunman, was said to be, is the original University building but is now used by the languages department, including the English department. Celebrated author John Grisham was once a student there.
5. Campus Police Are Being Hailed as Heroes by Students
Residents of the area and students of Mississippi State University are hailing the local police as heroes following the lockdown.