Bowie State University: 2 injured after reports of shots fired during homecoming week

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CNN
 — 

Two 19-year-olds were injured in a shooting at Bowie State University Saturday night, in the midst of the Maryland school’s homecoming weekend, according to state police, who believe there was more than one shooter.

The 19-year-olds, both men, were found with gunshot wounds at the historically Black university’s Center for Business and Graduate Studies and taken to a hospital, Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Roland Butler said at a news conference Sunday.

Neither of them were Bowie State students, nor were they students of nearby Morgan State University, another HBCU whose students were invited to Bowie State after their own homecoming celebrations were interrupted by gunfire last week. Both shootings underscored America’s ongoing epidemic of gun violence, as it continues to spill into everyday venues of daily life.

Bowie State University police first received reports of shots fired around 11:45 p.m. Saturday, school officials said in a post on Facebook.

The shooting is believed to be an isolated event, Maj. Kenny Brown, assistant bureau chief for the state police, said Sunday. Officers from the Prince George County Police Department, the Bowie State University police force and troopers from the Maryland State Police were working this homecoming weekend.

No suspects have been identified, but police are pursuing some leads, Brown said, adding investigators preliminarily believe more than one shooter was involved.

Bowie State is based in Prince George’s County and has 6,408 students enrolled for the Fall 2023 semester, according to the university’s website.

The incident at Bowie State comes just days after a shooting at Morgan State University about a 45-minute drive away, where four students and another person were wounded when gunfire erupted outside a crowded homecoming event on Tuesday evening, sending students running and forcing hourslong shelter-in-place orders as police combed the campus for a suspect.

After the shooting at Morgan State resulted in the cancellation of the university’s homecoming game, Bowie State announced it was welcoming Morgan State students to join its own homecoming celebrations.

“Together, we are HBCU Strong,” Bowie State Athletics wrote Friday on X, formerly Twitter.

Both universities saw reports of gunfire while celebrating homecoming week, a time meant for students and alumni to come together and celebrate.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re here to address another act of violence on a college campus, during one of the most celebrated weekends of the year for the staff, the students and the alumni on an HBCU campus,” Col. Butler said Sunday.

Aminta H. Breaux, Bowie State’s president, expressed “deep sadness” about the shooting during Sunday’s news conference. It occurred “after a weeklong series of wonderful festivities for our homecoming celebration.”

Several evening homecoming events were scheduling for Saturday night at Bowie State, including music and comedy events, and a homecoming after party at the Leonidas S. James Physical Education Complex.

“Our campus community is very much a peaceful community,” Breaux said, “and so this is not normal for Bowie State University.”

The university is canceling Monday classes, Breaux said, and it will be providing students with 24-hour counseling services.



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