Police say shooting on St. Louis campus possibly road rage

AP News
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Posted: Apr 20, 2016 10:27 PM

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A school employee who was shot in the arm while riding in a car on the Washington University campus told investigators that road rage was behind the incident that led to a 90-minute lockdown Wednesday, suburban St. Louis police said.

Clayton Police Chief Kevin Murphy said both the woman and the driver of the car she was in said they had argued with someone in a black sport utility vehicle just before the shooting and that the SUV then drove away. Murphy said the woman told police she didn't know who shot her.

No arrests had been made as of Wednesday evening.

The woman, whose name was not released by police, was taken to a hospital for treatment. Murphy said she was expected to survive. University officials said the woman was a campus food service worker.

The shooting happened about 1:30 p.m. near the student union and performing arts building, along a road that separates the main campus from the university's primary residential housing area. The private university is located on the border of the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County.

A university alert issued just before 3 p.m. advised that "the campus emergency is over" and told those who received it "you may resume your normal activities." An earlier alert advised those on campus to "shelter in place."

Vice Chancellor Jill Friedman said that "no students were involved."

By midafternoon, activity on campus had resumed, with students walking to and from class. Many talked on their cellphones, assuring their parents that they were OK.

Freshman Jordan Isikow said she was finishing a psychology experiment when people ran inside the building and said there was a shooting right outside.

"Everybody else was freaking out," she said.

Sophomore Alessandra Silva said she was in the middle of campus when she heard several shots ring out.

"It rang out across the Quad," Silva said. "We looked up like, 'Is it thunder? Was it a skateboard?' But seconds later, a siren sounded alerting students to go to a safe place."

She took shelter in the student center. "I was pretty scared," she said.

The 163-year-old university has an enrollment of about 15,000. The school's location next to sprawling Forest Park — among the venues of the 1904 Summer Olympics — serves as a physical buffer of sorts from the rest of St. Louis. But the campus isn't immune from the gun violence that is more prevalent in other parts of the community.

Earlier this month, a teenager was shot near the university's medical school close to Barnes-Jewish Hospital. In March, Washington University briefly issued an emergency alert after a report of gunfire by a light rail station near a satellite campus in St. Louis.

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