Public's help sought after Pa. university shooting

Associated Press Updated: January 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm • Published: January 21, 2014 0

CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — A shooting on the campus of a university outside of Philadelphia does not appear to be a random act of violence, officials said Tuesday as the search for the gunman continued.

A 19-year-old student sitting in a vehicle in the parking lot of Widener University's athletic center was approached by the gunman and shortly before 9 p.m. Monday, police said. Arriving officers found the victim lying on the ground outside the vehicle with wounds in his head and left shoulder, police said.

The student, who called 911 to report the shooting, was listed in critical but stable condition at Crozer-Chester Medical Center after surgery, a hospital spokesman said.

Dan Hanson, a spokesman for the university, said Tuesday that "all indications are this was not a random act of violence." He said the student's name wasn't being released at the request of his family.

Widener asked students to remain inside until 6 a.m. as police continue searching for the suspect, but the university said that the campus had been secured by police.

Classes were held as usual Tuesday morning but some later classes were canceled due to the winter storm moving through the region, Hanson said.

Chester Police Chief Joseph Bail told WPVI-TV there is a strong police presence at the private, co-ed university located 14 miles south of Philadelphia.

"Any shooting provokes fear, but the security here is top notch," Bail said. "We have a strong police presence. They just need to be careful."

Chester police were reviewing surveillance footage and were using K-9 units to track the suspect, who they believe fled into a residential neighborhood adjacent to the athletic complex, on the edge of the campus. Investigators asked anyone with information about the case to call police.

Police told reporters they found one shell casing at the scene and believe the shooter used a revolver.

The university also has three other campuses in Harrisburg, Exton and Wilmington, Del.

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