MUW confirms on-campus shooting was self-inflicted


Nora Miller, left, and Randy Vibrock

Nora Miller, left, and Randy Vibrock



Dispatch Staff Report



Authorities have confirmed a Jan. 4 shooting on the Mississippi University for Women campus was intentionally self-inflicted, according to information the university released this morning. 


MUW will pursue no charges in the incident, a university press release said. 


Emergency first responders rushed to campus just before 1 p.m. Jan. 4, after reports of a shot fired in front of Whitfield Hall. Less than 10 minutes later, MUW tweeted through its a W Alert System giving a description of a suspect at large. A campus lockdown followed, as did an hours-long manhunt on campus that even spilled into downtown Columbus. 


By that evening, however, the lockdown was lifted and authorities began investigating the possibility of the shooting being self-inflicted. 


Today, the MUW press release said authorities obtained statements from all parties involved confirming that suspicion.  


"We can now confidently say that The W was never in any immediate danger," MUW Police Chief Randy Vibrock said in the press release. "At the time we issued the lockdown notification, we were acting on the information that there was a potential suspect with a weapon." 


A university official confirmed to The Dispatch the victim has been released from Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle. 


The press release offered no other details of the incident. 


Columbus and Lowndes County law enforcement assisted with the investigation, as did state and federal agencies. 


"This was a very unfortunate event," MUW President Nora Miller said. "We hope the individual continues to get the assistance he needs. The university focuses our resources on the mission of providing educational opportunities for students. 


"We are grateful to all emergency responders who assisted the university police department," she added.




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