Chardonnae Parker / Delta Staff Writer
A reported shooting and manhunt forced Missouri Valley College to go into lock down twice Thursday.
At approximately 11:18 A.M. Missouri Valley College was placed on an official campus-wide lock down. While sirens sounded around campus, students, faculty, and staff members scrambled to find safe shelter. Emails and alerts were sent across the campus.
The first alert read “Emergency situation on campus! Please find a safe area where you can secure yourself. Please await further instructions.” It was soon followed by an email from the Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Heath Morgan, “There is a lockdown for the campus community due to action near campus.”
Missouri Valley College student Torre Kerns was in class when the sirens and alerts began.
“In the beginning I believed it was a drill,” she said. “Once my teacher said this was for real and was not a drill, I was shocked but scared all at the same time. I have been at Missouri Valley College for three years and I have never experienced anything like this in Marshall.”
In many countries outside the United States gun violence is at a minimum and for many foreign students the lock down was a shock and had their and fears at an all time high.
Shanelle Tolley said: “Today says a lot about attitudes in the USA towards gun regulations and safety. For me it was more than a shock because I have never been in anything like this before.”
The first lock down lasted until 11:40. Morgan then sent an email that stated “Currently the lock down has been lifted. We locked down campus due to a shooting near the 1100 block of Olson which is near the college’s campus. When we first learned of the report, the gunmen had fled and we were unsure if they were potentially coming to the college to hide or escape. I am sorry if we scared anyone doing the lock down but it was the best action for campus. Thank you to everyone who quickly locked down!”
Around 12:15 p.m. the Marshall police department asked the college and all Marshall public schools to go on lock down for the second time due to another incidence of violence near campus. That lock down lasted a little over 10 minutes.
Morgan sent a final email to everyone which said, “Thank you again for the immediate response to the two lock downs of campus. I want to make sure the campus community is aware that we locked down campus due to the request of the Marshall Police Department. There were two incidents off-campus where there was a reported shooting. Both of the incidents were close enough to campus to prompt us to take action to ensure the safety of all individuals on campus. Again, this did not happen on our campus and did not involve any of our students or employees.”
Professor Harry Carrell, who locked down in his office with several of his students, noted that the college’s procedures were followed and everything worked the way they should.
“To start we thought it was a drill, but quickly were aware and alert of what was going on,” he said. “In terms of how today was handled, I think the campus and Dr. Morgan did a good job keeping the students, faculty, and staff informed.”
According to information released by the Marshall Police Department, the initial incident was reported around 11:10 a.m. when emergency responders were called to a house on Olson Ave. First responders found three people suffering gunshot wounds.
At 12:18 p.m., Marshall Police Department received information of a second shooting which happened at a residence on West Vest Street. The victim of this apparent gunshot walked into Fitzgibbon Hospital for treatment.
A 41 year old man has been identified as a person of interest, Terrell Palmer. At the time of this release Terrell Palmer has not been located. Terrell Palmer is described as 6 feet tall weighing 170 pounds.
Both shooting incidents have been confirmed to be related.