USC Shooting Called A Murder-Suicide By Law Enforcement

The University of South Carolina was rocked this afternoon by a murder-suicide that occurred inside the Arnold School of Public Health at approximately 1 PM Thursday afternoon.

Law enforcement was notified of the incident and quickly responded to the scene as students were alerted that there were shots fired on campus via text and Twitter by the university’s Carolina Alert system.

The campus went into lock down mode as police made their way into the building where the shots originated from. Two bodies were soon found in an undisclosed room inside of the building which houses both offices and classrooms.

Thom Berry of South Carolina’s State Law Enforcement Division referred to the incident as “very isolated” and declined to comment on which room the bodies were found in, if they were students or faculty members or their identities.

Students and faculty were given the all clear by 2:30 PM and those on campus were free to move about without the threat of more gunfire present.

A statement from the University of South Carolina’s President Harris Pastides was updated on the school’s website at 6:05 PM Thursday evening. It read:

“Today, the USC family experienced a great tragedy. Sadly, a shooting in one of out buildings has left two dead in what appears to be a murder-suicide. The thoughts and prayers of our entire community are with the families of the deceased tonight.

The University of South Carolina Police Department responded to the shots immediately and, within moments, our community was alerted. I want to thank USCPD for their professionalism and quick response. The building was quickly secured and we were able to give an all clear for the campus.

Thank you also to our students, faculty and staff for their cooperation and fast action. We know the grieving period will be long and our counseling center is available to anyone who may need assistance.

Thank you to our community and law enforcement partners in the ongoing investigation. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is the lead investigative agency along with the Richland County coroner.

Indeed this is a tragic day in our history. Patricia and I, along with the Board of Trustees, offer our condolences to the families and friends of the deceased.”

Little else is known at this time as all law enforcement agencies involved have remained tight lipped while evidence is collected and investigators try to determine exactly what took place. The Columbia Police Department and the U.S. Marshal’s office are said to be assisting the state and campus law enforcement offices with the ensuing investigation.

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