Two people dead in apparent murder-suicide at University of South Carolina’s public health school
Two people died in a shooting at the University of South Carolina’s public health school on Thursday in an apparent murder-suicide, state police said.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry told a news conference the shooting in a room inside the school appeared to involve only the two deceased.
“This has every indication of being a very isolated incident which appears to be a murder-suicide,” he said, adding it was never an active shooter situation.
He said the shooting took place in a room at the new public health research building at the university’s public health school in downtown Columbia, blocks from the state capitol building. Berry would not identify the weapon.
Authorities did not immediately release the identities of the two deceased. The bodies, which remained inside the school all afternoon, were removed about 6 p.m., Berry told Reuters.
A professor was shot dead, The State newspaper in Columbia reported, citing unnamed sources.
A call of shots fired came in to police around at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Berry said. The university issued an online alert warning people to stay indoors and seek safe shelter.
The alert was lifted about an hour later.
Classes in the public health school were canceled for the day, the university said on Twitter. The campus otherwise was operating under normal conditions, according to its website.
The State reported that all buildings at the university had been locked down and that Governor Nikki Haley cut a news conference short on Thursday because of security concerns.
(Reporting by Harriet McLeod; Writing by Letitia Stein; Additional reporting by Colleen Jenkins and Suzannah Gonzales; Editing by Will Dunham, Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney)
Watch a report on the incident, as aired on WHNS-TV on Thursday, below.