Monday, May 5, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The second shooting in two days at a Georgia college Monday left a student with a life-threatening gunshot wound to the head and prompted authorities to pledge to bolster security at the school.
A 21-year-old man was taken into custody and was being called a person of interest in Monday's shooting, Richmond County Sheriff's Sgt. Monica Belser said in a news release. The man has not been charged, Belser said, and police have not publicly identified him.
Monday's shooting led to an hourslong lockdown of Paine's campus, about 140 miles east of Atlanta. The school's sprawling 57-acre campus is just a few miles from the city's downtown area, as well as the Augusta National Golf Club where the annual Masters tournament is played. Authorities also locked down nearby Georgia Regents University, which houses the university's hospital, and nearby public schools.
The shooter and the gunshot victim were likely involved in a fight prior to the shooting, Belser said, without releasing any details.
The victim was found on the third floor of an academic and administrative building with a gunshot wound to the head. He was alert, conscious and communicating with deputies when he was taken from campus, sheriff's officials said in a statement Monday afternoon. The officials initially said the man had suffered a non-life-threatening injury.
Witnesses identified the man now in custody and authorities found him during a search of campus dormitories, Belser said.
The shooting was the second on Paine's campus in two days. A bullet traveled through a wall on Sunday, slightly injuring a student with debris, Belser said.
Paine College, a private school, enrolls just more than 800 students. College officials said on their social media accounts that the campus remained closed to the public after the lockdown was lifted and that classes were expected to resume at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office will be working with Paine College Police to bolster security on campus after the two shootings, Belser said. Calls and emails to the Paine's campus safety department weren't returned Monday.