WMC: Classes canceled Monday at University of Memphis after deadly shooting

Classes were canceled on the main campus of the University of Memphis Monday after a fatal shooting there Sunday night.

University officials said a student was shot in the chest while in the vicinity of the Carpenter Complex around 9:45 p.m. Sunday.  The student drove to the intersection of Zach Curlin and Central, where he was involved in a single car automobile accident.

The student was taken to The MED, where he was pronounced dead.

School officials said an initial investigation indicated the shooting was not an act of random violence, instead directed specifically toward the victim.  Officials believe the suspect left the University area immediately.

The Daily Helmsman, the University of Memphis' student newspaper, identified the victim as a member of the Memphis Tigers football team.  (CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE.)

Memphis Police investigators said the victim's identity would not be officially released until family members were notified of the death.

After the shooting, students complained the Tiger Text emergency alert text messaging service did not immediately notify them of the shooting.  A message sent just after 4:00 a.m. Monday morning informed students classes were canceled Monday.

Officials said classes were canceled to allow a Memphis Police investigation into the incident to continue.

Stay with WMCTV.com for updates on this story.  A full press release from the University of Memphis is reprinted below.


Classes Canceled for Monday, October 1, 2007

Main Campus Only

Police Services is issuing this message in an effort to continue to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

On Sunday, September 30, 2007, around 9:45 PM, a student was shot in the vicinity of the Carpenter Complex.  He then drove to Zach Curlin and Central and was involved in a single car automobile accident.  He was transported to the MED where he was pronounced dead.

While suspect information cannot be released at this time, the initial investigation indicates this was an act directed specifically toward the victim and was not a random act of violence.  During the preliminary investigation all residence halls were closed shortly after the incident.  However, subsequent information revealed that the persons responsible left the University area immediately. Residence halls will reopen at 7:00 AM on October 1, 2007.

The Memphis Police Department's Homicide Bureau is leading the investigation with the assistance of the University Police.  The investigation is continuing and further information will be made available as it develops.

If you have any information related to this incident, please call the University Police at 678-4357 (HELP), e-mail police@memphis.edu, or submit a tip anonymously at http://bf.memphis.edu/police/confidential.php.

Classes at the main campus only are canceled on Monday, October 1, 2007, to allow time for further police investigation, and to ensure the well-being of our students, faculty, staff and visitors.

President Raines has announced that all University offices will be open to allow students to have access to counselors and advisors.  While classes are canceled on Monday, October 1, 2007, when they resume on October 2 professors should take into account the effect this event may have had on students.  Students are encouraged to speak with their professors if they feel the need.

Plans for memorial services and other responses to this tragedy will be announced by the Student Government Association and the Office of Student Affairs.

Bruce Harber

Director of Police Services

The University of Memphis