WORCESTER – One person was killed and another injured in a shooting early Saturday morning on the campus of Worcester State University. Students were ordered to shelter in place around 2:30 a.m. after shots were fired near a parking garage on campus.
“Neither the victim nor the suspected assailant are students at Worcester State University,” the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Police said investigations indicated the shooting was part of a fight and not an active shooter situation. Both victims were taken to UMass Medical Center. One died and one was hospitalized. Their identities have not been released.
The injured person will have a successful surgery and survive.
“This does not appear to be a random incident,” Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early said at a press conference Saturday. “The parties involved know each other and that’s all we can decide at this point.”
Police said a man was arrested near the scene and charged with trespassing and possession of a firearm. Police have not confirmed that the man is the suspect in the shooting. He initially said the man had left the scene of the shooting.
Students were asked to stay in dormitories until the order was lifted shortly before 9:30 a.m. Saturday. However, students were asked to avoid the area where the police are working. The Wasylean parking lot is closed until further notice.
The school canceled all weekend activities, including homecoming and family weekend. The university website says it offers counseling to students in need.
Students said they thought the university handled the emergency well, but were shocked by the shooting on campus.
“I was in shock. I couldn’t process it,” Marcus Oliver said of the shoot.
Isaac Tyson, a student at Worcester State University, said he saw a fight break out in the parking lot and heard gunfire, but felt safe at school. “I feel mostly safe,” he said, “and we’re not going to leave the shelters.”
Other students said they would go home for the weekend as the shooting and weekend events were cancelled.
“It’s definitely something that makes you want to go home,” freshman Alyssa Felix said.
“You don’t want that to happen, but especially where you want to go to school and where you want to be safe,” freshman Jannelly Soto said.
Police are asking anyone with photos or video of the Wasylean parking lot and Sheehan Hall to contact them.