A suspect has been arrested and is currently being held in Lincoln Parish Detention Center for a shooting that took place the evening of Sunday. Oct. 7 on GSU’s campus.
Jovan Hackley, GSU’s media coordinator, told The Gramblinite the shooting occurred near the basketball court by Adams Hall, better known to students as “The Cage”. Neither of the parties involved in the incident were students at the university.
Students received an alert from the university just before 10 p.m.
“A shooting incident has occurred on campus near the basketball courts. A suspect is NOT in custody. Please remain inside your current location. If you are not on campus, please do NOT come to campus. To report any information or for immediate safety concerns, please call (318) 274-2222.”
The shooter was not immediately taken into custody.
After the initial text was sent out, GSU sent another alert asking students to stay sheltered for the night, but regular use of campus facilities for residential students would resume the following day.
The Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Grambling State Police Department responded to the shooting and administered first aid to the victim on the scene.
The victim was admitted to the Northern Louisiana Medical Center for further treatment, and was is in stable condition following the incident.
The suspect, Dewayne “Squirm” Fletcher was located hiding in a playground at the Alma J. Brown Elementary School and taken into custody by the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office late Sunday night. Fletcher is currently being held in the Lincoln Parish Detention Center on a bond of $760,000.
Fletcher is charged with attempted 2nd degree murder, possession of a firearm in a firearm free zone, and aggravated criminal damage to property and criminal trespass.
According to a police report released by Grambling State University Police Department Chief Carlos Kelly, the victim was wounded in the buttocks and hip area.
“We are collaborating with the Ruston Police Department and Grambling State Police Department on patrolling the campus,” Hackley said.
The shooting comes nearly one year after a double homicide on campus.
Hackley said while the university has made progress, the shooting is a sign that more work needs to be done to ensure the campus is safe.
“We’ve made progress and this lets us know that we have work to do,” Hackley said. “We have to step up as it comes to supporting our students.”
Some, Hackley said, changes will be implemented limiting access to the basketball court to only students to ensure campus safety.
“What we’re tackling is the connection between the students at our university and people who like to visit our university,” Hackley said. “Our focus is how do we keep the great connection between the outside world and our students?”
GSUPD has issued a visitation policy in an effort to regain control of who is on campus. The policy applies to University residents and their guests. The policy allows for residents and their visitors to interact in the designated residential community.
GSU’s Chief of the University Police Department, Carlos Kelly, said GSU’s open campus makes it easier to interact with outside people who may not have the best intentions.
“Our job as campus police is to secure the safety measurements for our staff and students,” Kelly previously told The Gramblinite. “We have a lot of active outsiders on this campus that require additional patrolling to assure the safety for our enrolled students.”