Police are hunting for a gunman who shot and killed a student and his friend after an altercation early Wednesday morning at Louisiana's Grambling State University, officials said.
Lincoln Parish police received 911 calls just after midnight about the shooting, which occurred nearly 37 miles west of Monroe, sheriff’s spokesman Stephen Williams said. The suspect fled the scene, spurring a manhunt that prompted a call for students to stay indoors. Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone said later the shooter and the two victims knew each other “to some extent” and the incident wasn’t random or an act of terrorism.
"It was an altercation that started inside one of the dorm rooms and spilled out into the courtyard," Williams said. "We're interviewing witnesses."
Stone said in another statement: "There are no indicators that this incident bears any resemblance to any of the random acts of violence or domestic terrorism that have been experienced around our country in recent weeks.”
Police said they have a description of the suspect, but did not release his name.
Earl Andrews, 23, a student at the university, and Monquiarius Caldwell, 23, both of Farmerville, were identified by University spokeswoman Kathy Spurlock as the victims in the shooting. Andrews and Caldwell were friends from college and cousins by marriage, Andrews’ brother, Ledarius Heard, told The Associated Press.
"Earl didn't bother nobody," Heard said about his brother, adding that they lived off campus in Ruston. Andrews was studying criminal justice and hoped to move to Texas after graduation to be closer to his 1-year-old son.
The shooting occurred as students celebrated the university’s Homecoming, the Monroe News Star reported. Heard said his brother typically came home immediately after classes ended but had been on campus Tuesday night to hang out with friends during homecoming week. Heard said he didn't know of any conflicts between his brother and anyone else.
"If he ever had any problems, he would let me know," he added.
Despite the search for the unidentified gunman, Grambling State University said Wednesday morning that offices and buildings will be open.
"Grambling State University offices are open with normal business hours and students are expected to attend classes as scheduled," the university said in a tweet.
Grambling State University Media Relations Director Will Sutton called the deadly shooting a “horrible tragedy” and “nothing that anybody would’ve ever wanted to have happened.”
"Our prayers are with the victims and their families," Sutton said. "There’s no place for violence on Grambling State University campus. We always encourage our students to be safe, to be aware, watch who they hang out with, and watch who’s around at all times. This is a most unfortunate situation."
The Associated Press contributed to this report