Student shot at Pennsylvania university campus: officials

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 21, 2014 3:53 AM

(Reuters) - A male student shot at a Pennsylvania university late on Monday evening was in critical but stable condition at an area hospital and the shooter was still at large, officials said.

A student at Widener University was shot near the Schwartz Athletic Center at about 8:45 p.m. local time, said Jennifer Kitchen, a spokeswoman for the private institution about 15 miles outside of Philadelphia in the city of Chester.

The student, who had not been identified, was being treated at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, a nearby hospital, officials said.

Police in Chester, a city of some 34,000 residents, had secured the campus, determining that there was no active shooter but that a suspect was still at large.

"All indications are that this was not a random act of violence," the university said on its website.

Students were urged to remain indoors until 6 a.m. local time on Tuesday, when classes were to resume, school officials said.

He came in with at least one gun shot wound, had surgery, and was with his family at the hospital, said Grant Gegwich, a spokesman for Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Pennsylvania.

The university, with some 3,200 students, was founded in 1821, its website said. Video footage showed the area around the athletic facility largely cleared of students and vehicles. Police were searching the area, including nearby woods.

School shootings such as the one at a Connecticut elementary school in December 2012 that left 26 children and adult staff members dead have intensified a national debate over whether gun control regulations need to be stricter.

In October, a 12-year-old boy killed a teacher and wounded two students at his school in Sparks, Nevada, before killing himself. Another 12-year-old boy in New Mexico is accused of seriously wounding two students with a shotgun on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson)