7 injured, 1 dead at Grambling State, officials lament another fatal shooting

Published: Oct. 17, 2021 at 2:17 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2021 at 5:02 PM CDT
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Above: Sunday afternoon, GSU President Rick Gallot and Louisiana State Police gave an update on Sunday’s deadly shooting at GSU.

GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE) - One person was killed and seven others were injured overnight when gunfire erupted at Grambling State University in north Louisiana. One of the victims is in critical condition, according to Louisiana State Police. Six others suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The shooting happened around 1 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, as the school hosted thousands of visitors in celebration of homecoming week and just four days after another deadly shooting on campus.

Officials gave an update on the situation during a press conference Sunday afternoon. Several victims were confirmed at the scene, one of them a student. The student was taken to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. The person who died was not a student. LSP spokesperson Michael Reichardt said they had no suspect information.

The shooting happened after a fight broke out on campus. Reichardt said it happened outside and was about 100 yards away from where a campus event was taking place. In a video posted to social media, crowds of people can be seen running around as more than a dozen “pops” sounds off. The shooting sent the school into lockdown and multiple law enforcement agencies, already on hand for a boost in security, jumped into action.

The shooting happened despite increased measures officials took to keep everyone safe. GSU President Rick Gallot said agencies from central Louisiana up to the Arkansas state line were at GSU for security purposes. A state police official expressed sorrow for the victims and students, as well as their families.

“Let me first offer my condolences and heartfelt prayers,” Major Cordell Williams said. “This is not something that’s easy for us. And I can imagine that it’s not easy for you, as well. But our prayers for the family, for everyone that is involved, those that are hurting because of that, and we hope that today moving forward that we will be able to bring you some assurance that we can resolve this together as a team.”

Williams was followed in kind by the school’s president.

“I’m still struggling with the right words to say, quite frankly, involving outsiders on our campus,” President Rick Gallot said during the Sunday afternoon news conference. He talked about how the school hosted thousands of visitors over the weekend for homecoming. Those guests included family members of students, alumni, and speakers from professional fields across the nation. Gallot said people coming to GSU represent 40 states and over three dozen countries. He also mirrored the sentiment shared in a previously released written statement.

“Our campus community has worked tirelessly to keep our students and others safe for the homecoming activities,” said Grambling State President Rick Gallot in that statement. “Yet, with all of our planning and coordination with our local, parish, regional, and state law enforcement partners, we still find ourselves grieving the loss of life and injuries just as too many communities in our country have experienced as well. Why would someone come to the campus of our Dear Ole Grambling and shoot innocent people?”

The campus has since been cleared for normal operations following a lockdown. Homecoming events for Oct. 17 have been canceled. Classes for Monday, Oct. 18, have been canceled as well.

This is the second shooting to happen on campus in less than a week. One person was killed and another was injured in a shooting on Oct. 13. Neither of the teenage victims was a student. Neither is suspect Jatavious “Rabbit” Carroll, 18, of Delhi. Police are still looking for him in that case.

As of Sunday afternoon, state police said they have not identified a motive for Sunday’s shooting. They are still interviewing witnesses and victims. If you have any information regarding the shooting you are asked to call LSP at (318) 345-0000 or GSUPD at (318) 374-2222.

GSU has instituted a curfew from 9:30 p.m. until 6 a.m. until further notice.

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