WORCESTER – One person is dead and another is injured after a shooting on the Worcester State University campus early Saturday morning. Students were ordered to shelter in place after the shooting around 2:30 a.m. near a campus parking garage.
“Neither the victims nor the alleged attackers are students at Worcester State University,” the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Police said the investigation indicated the shooting was part of a fight and was not an active shooter situation. Both victims were taken to UMass Medical Center. One died and another is still hospitalized. Their identities have not been released.
The injured victim underwent successful surgery and will survive.
“This does not appear to be a random incident,” Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early said at a news conference Saturday. “The parties involved knew each other from what we can see at this point.”
Police said a person was arrested near the scene and charged with trespassing and possession of a firearm. Police have not confirmed who is a suspect in the shooting. Early said the person left the scene where the shooting occurred.
Students had been asked to stay in the residence halls until the order was lifted shortly before 9:30 a.m. Saturday. However, students were asked to avoid the area where police work. The Wasylean car park is closed until further notice.
The school also canceled all weekend activities, including homecoming and family weekend. The university’s website says it offers counseling to students who need it.
Students said they thought the university handled the emergency well, but they are shocked that a shooting occurred on campus.
“I was just in shock. I couldn’t wrap my head around it,” Marcus Oliver said of the shooting.
Issac Tyson, a student at Worcester State University, said he saw a fight break out in the parking lot and heard the gunshots, but still felt safe at school. “I feel safe for the most part,” he said, adding, “We’re probably not going to leave the dorms ourselves.”
Other students said that with filming and weekend events canceled, they would likely return home for the weekend.
“It’s definitely something that would make you want to go home,” freshman Alyssa Felix said.
“You don’t want this to happen at all, but especially where you go to school and where it’s supposed to be safe,” said freshman Janneli Soto.
Police are asking anyone with photos or videos of the Wasylean parking lot and Sheehan Hall to contact them.