Widener University Shooting "Not a Random Act"


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Police in Chester, Pa., are still on the lookout for the person who shot a Widener University student yesterday evening. The victim, as yet unnamed, was sitting in a car in the parking lot of the school’s athletic center around 8:48 p.m. Monday night when the incident occurred. Campus security was alerted by an emergency “blue light” button, though it is unclear who pushed the button.

The university issued a statement online, asking students to remain indoors until 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, though authorities believe the perpetrator has fled the campus. The statement further indicates that the victim was taken to Crozer Chester Medical Center. His family has been notified. Grant Gegwich, a spokesperson for the hospital, has said that the victim was in surgery overnight, listed in stable but critical condition.

Chester police have been reviewing surveillance footage and using K-9 units to search for the suspect and believe he may have run into a residential district near the campus. Police found only one shell casing on the scene and believe the shooter used a revolver. The statement released by the school claims that “all indications are that this was not a random act of violence.” Neigborhoodscout.com, a real estate website, has rated Chester as one of the most dangerous municipalities in the US.

Widener, founded in 1821, is a private, co-educational university, located about 15 miles southwest of Philadelphia. Around 6,400 students are enrolled between Widener’s four campuses in Harrisburg, Exton, and Chester, Pa. and Wilmington, Del.

This attack comes too soon after another eastern Pennsylvania school shooting. On Friday, a 17 year old man shot two in a gymnasium in Philadelphia, both of whom sustained injuries that were not life threatening. The suspect in that case, Raisheem Rochwell, turned himself in for arrest on Saturday and was arraigned as an adult.

Image via Wikimedia Commons