BALTIMORE (AP) — Five people were wounded, none critically, in a shooting outside a residence hall at Morgan State University in Baltimore on Tuesday, according to authorities, who urged students to take shelter on the campus of the historically Black college.
The Baltimore Police Department initially said officers were on the scene for an “active shooter situation” around 9:30 p.m. Police kept the campus on lockdown for hours and provided little information about their investigation. The gunfire shattered windows at a residential building that’s on the same block as a city police station.
Police Commissioner Richard Worley said the five victims, four males and one female, are between the ages of 18 and 22. Their injuries are non-life-threatening, he told reporters at a late night news conference.
Morgan State Police Chief Lance Hatcher said four of the victims are students at the university.
No arrests were announced and police did not release information about a suspect or suspects.
After the gunfire erupted, authorities asked people to stay indoors and avoid the area. Police later said it was no longer an active shooter situation and the shelter-in-place order was lifted around 12:30 a.m.
City Council member Ryan Dorsey said on X that “it’s believed there were three shooters firing into the crowd.”
Worley declined to answer questions about how many shooters police believe were involved.
The shooting happened amid a week of activities ahead of the school’s homecoming game on Saturday. The coronation of Mister & Miss Morgan State was scheduled for Tuesday night at the Murphy Fine Arts Center.
Shortly after midnight, dozens of students wearing gowns and suits started trickling out of the arts center, where they had been sheltering. Many were trying to process the traumatic turn of events that turned an evening of celebration into chaos and fear.
Konnor Crowder, a sophomore from Baltimore, said he and his friends had been waiting for the coronation ball to start when they saw people running across the campus.
“First I was wondering what they were running for, then I was wondering where we should go,” he said.
Orange evidence markers were visible on the ground in front of a building next to the dorm where the shooting occurred. Yellow crime tape encircled the area as officers used flashlights to search for evidence.
Parents gathered at a media staging area outside the south entrance to campus. James Willoughby, a Morgan State alum whose daughter is a freshman, said he wasn’t leaving until he laid eyes on her. “I’m gonna be here until I can physically see her,” he said.
Glenmore Blackwood came to the campus after hearing from his son, a senior who told him the shooting occurred just as festivities for the coronation were concluding.
Blackwood said his son was sheltering in place in the arts center’s auditorium. He sang in the ceremony and was planning to host a prayer service afterward.
“That’s my son. He’s going to make sure I know he’s OK,” Blackwood said. “It’s just sad. They were doing a good thing — an event to promote positivity — and all this negativity happens.”
At the scene Tuesday night, officers were blocking off the south entrance to campus near dorm buildings while a police helicopter circled overhead.
Morgan State University President David Wilson said he canceled classes for Wednesday.
The university with an enrollment of about 9,000 students was founded in 1867 as the Centenary Biblical Institute, with an initial mission of training men for ministry, according to its website. It moved to its current site in northeast Baltimore in 1917 and was purchased by the state of Maryland in 1939 as it aimed to provide more opportunities for Black citizens.
“This is just horrific for the campus and for Baltimore. It’s obviously a very traumatic situation for everybody involved,” said City Council member Odette Ramos, whose district includes part of the Morgan State campus.
Lavoie reported from Richmond, Virginia.