Police search ongoing for CMU shooter

March 2, 2018


Photo from Mt. Pleasant Police release: James Eric Davis, Jr.

By Pat Maurer


Mt. Pleasant, Friday…Officers from the Central Michigan University Police Department, State Police, Isabella County Sheriff’s deputies and Mt. Pleasant Police are searching for 19-year-old James Eric Davis, Jr. who is the suspect in a shooting that left two dead at CMU’s Campbell Hall shortly after 9 a.m.

Reports of shots fired “near” the fourth floor of the building brought CMU police to the scene.

At 10:43 a.m. CMU confirmed that two people were fatally shot during the incident. They reported they were not students and that “police believe the situation started from a domestic situation.” There were no other injuries. Facebook posts said the victims were Davis’ parents.

Davis, who is a sophomore at CMU, was seen on video surveillance leaving the dorm, which is part of the Towers student residential living development off Broomfield Road on the west side of the campus.

Reported wearing “mustard yellow jeans and a blue hoodie” at that time, Davis is described as a black man approximately 5’10” tall and about 135 pounds. In a press release near noon, CMU Police Lt. Larry Klaus and Mt. Pleasant Police Information Officer Jeff Browne urged city residents to remain inside if possible and to immediately call 911 if they sited Davis, who was considered “armed and dangerous.”

Lt. Klaus confirmed that police had contact with Davis Thursday evening and he was transported and released to McLaren Hospital for a possible drug-related incident.

After the shooting, an officer reportedly found evidence that Davis had been seen at the train track near campus near Northwest Apartments. Police were searching the wooded area on the northwest side of the city with officers, K-9 units and helicopter surveillance.

A CMU update said the campus was put on lockdown and everyone urged to “shelter in place” because the suspect was still at large. They said parents arriving at the campus today to pick up students for spring break, which begins today, were being redirected to the Comfort in at 2424 S. Mission Street where university staff were on site to support the families.

In addition to the campus, the Mid Michigan Community College campus, all Mt. Pleasant Schools and all City buildings were also put on lockdown and Shepherd, Clare, Farwell and Coleman Schools were placed on an outside threat mode.

At 1:45 p.m. Friday, Clare Schools announced students would be released early, no students would be allowed to walk home, and no busses would be running.


Update 4:30 p.m. Friday

A Friday afternoon press conference said students from the CMU Towers complex are being removed and transported to the Comfort Inn where families are waiting. Lt. Kraus also reported that more than 100 law enforcement personnel from area agencies were searching for the suspect north of the campus.

He also reported that Davis was taken to MidMichigan Medical Center on Pickard during his contact with police Thursday evening and not to McLaren as he had reported earlier.

Information Officer Browne also said the police are asking anyone who encounters Davis or sees him to call 911. “We need the public’s help to apprehend this individual,” he added.

CMU President George Ross thanked Governor Rick Snyder, who was also at the press conference, for his help with personnel and resources during the day. Both men emphasized their primary concern for the safety of both CMU students and city residents.

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