MACOMB — An arrest warrant has been issued for the suspect who is believed to be responsible for Tuesday night’s shooting at Western Illinois University’s Thompson Hall.
Office of Public Safety (OPS) Interim Director Derek Watts told the media during Wednesday’s press conference that the suspect, 18-year-old Kavion Poplous, is still considered to be armed and dangerous. Watts urges anyone with information that could assist them on Poplous’ whereabouts to come forward.
Watts confirmed that the victim is Poplous’ roommate and that the shooting was in result of a dispute between the individuals, but it is not clear what led to the dispute.
As for the victim, who remains nameless due to respect for his loved ones, he was transported to McDonough District Hospital and then taken to another hospital for surgery. Watts said that he is out of surgery but that his condition is unknown at this time.
University Spokesperson Darcie Shinberger said that students were able to return to their dorms in the early morning hours after it was deemed safe for them to do so. She said that the university is encouraging those who live in the residence halls to stay indoors.
Shinberger didn’t specify how long the university plans to implement the campus lockdown, but she said that it could change depending on how quickly the suspect is apprehended. She also couldn’t confirm who set off the smoke alarm despite speculation that it was the suspect.
Interim President Martin Abraham thanked the university staff for what he said was a "tremendous" job in evacuating, relocating, and keeping students safe. He said that what happened Tuesday night was an unfortunate incident but that the Leatherneck community stepped up for the challenge.
Abraham also said that he was appreciative of Domino’s for providing pizza and Hy-Vee for providing water after the incident.
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