- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 22, 2007

DOVER, Del. — Two D.C.-area students were shot and wounded, one seriously, at Delaware State University early yesterday, and the campus was locked down as police searched for the gunman, officials said.

Police had identified two students as “persons of interest,” and investigators were questioning one of them, university police Chief James Overton said.

The victims were apparently returning from a cafe with a group other students when they were shot, Chief Overton said. There may have been some sort of argument in the cafeteria before the shooting, said Carlos Holmes, a university spokesman.

A 17-year-old male student from the D.C. area was wounded in the ankle and refused to answer questions by police about the shootings, raising the likelihood that he knew his attacker, according to a federal law-enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

“We have no indication that this is a random-type thing,” Mr. Holmes said.

Classes were canceled for the day and students were being kept inside.

“They’ve been directed to stay in their dorms,” Mr. Holmes said. “We don’t know where the shooter’s at.”

The two students were shot before 1 a.m. on the Campus Mall. Campus police said they were notified of the shooting at 12:54 a.m.

Mr. Holmes said the female student, also 17 and from the D.C. area, appeared to have suffered serious wounds. “They could be potentially life-threatening,” he said. The male student’s wounds were not as serious and he was hospitalized in stable condition, Mr. Holmes said.

Authorities, with the campus police in charge of the investigation, hoped to get more information once the victims were able to talk. They didn’t yet know about a possible motive.

Alex Bishoff, 20, a freshman from the District, said he heard five gunshots and looked out his dormitory window to see people scattering. He said he immediately thought of the April Virginia Tech shootings in which a gunman killed 32 persons before killing himself.

“Everybody’s very upset,” Mr. Bishoff said.

University officials informed students about the shooting with phone calls, a notice posted on the campus Web site and notifications in each dormitory. The notice also was posted at off-campus apartments, officials said. The biggest lesson from the tragedy at Virginia Tech, Mr. Holmes said, was to notify the campus right away.

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