A man seen loading a gun near student apartments at Georgia’s Columbus State University was shot and fatally wounded by officers who briefly chased the suspect on foot Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
No one else was hurt and the campus in western Georgia near the state line with Alabama was never placed on any lockdown during the brief shooting episode, campus officials said.
University Police Chief Rus Drew told The Associated Press that officers were called at 2:35 p.m. Sunday and arrived three minutes later to an area outside some campus apartments and chased the suspect, who wasn’t a student at Columbus State University.
“There was a short foot chase and at some point the suspect turned and faced the officers and shots were fired,” Drew said by phone. He added that while there were some student witnesses, no university lockdown had to be imposed because the chase and shooting had happened so quickly and authorities deemed that an “isolated threat” had been immediately removed.
He added that it didn’t appear that any students were placed in danger during the shooting though there appeared to have been some student witnesses.
Bill Sutley, a university spokesman, later told AP in a statement that a male who was not a university student there had been seen loading a gun near student apartments before being shot by officers. He said he had no further information about the man’s identity and said the university was cooperating with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, or GBI, as it investigated.
The university statement said a local coroner’s officer had confirmed to campus police that the man was later pronounced dead after being taken by ambulance to a local hospital. The identity of the man was not immediately made public pending notification of the family, authorities said.
Columbus State said it was making counselors available to talk to students as needed, the university statement added.
“This is a terrible tragedy,” CSU Tim Mescon said. “We’ll cooperate fully with the investigation with GBI. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved in this as well as their families.”