MORGANTOWN (KDKA) – A WVU student is dead after a shooting at a university-run apartment complex near campus early Friday morning.
According to West Virginia University Police, two suspects have been arrested after a young man was shot at the College Park Apartments, near the Morgantown campus.
The victim was identified by WVU as Eric Smith, a 21-year-old multidisciplinary studies major. The sophomore is originally from Clementon, New Jersey.
The two suspects were arrested at the nearby Walmart on University Town Center Drive. WVU officials have identified them as 21-year-old Terrell Linear and 20-year-old Shaundarius Reeder, both from Fairmont, West Virginia. They are not students at the university.
One of the suspects told police inside he pounded on multiple doors inside the apartment building so people who live here could witness him shooting and killing Smith.
Both are charged with first-degree murder. They were both arraigned in Monongalia County Magistrate Court.
Police were called to the apartment complex around 4 a.m. for multiple gunshots.
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Investigators later learned that Smith was with Linear and Reeder in a car prior to the shooting and got into a fight in the parking lot of the apartment complex.
After the fight, investigators say Linear grabbed two guns from the car, gave one to Reeder, then followed Smith inside.
Linear later admitted to police that he shot Smith multiple times when he opened the apartment door. Police said there were two guns in the car.
“Multiple agencies responded to support our department at the scene,” said University Police Chief Chedester. “We appreciate their cooperation and assistance as our investigation continues.”
According to students in the building, the shots were fired on the second floor of building 21.
“It’s really scary. Someone died 50 feet away from me, I didn’t even know it. It could have been me, or anyone I know,” Patrick Connelly, a WVU student, said.
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After the incident, a shelter-in-place order was put in place for the university. It has since been lifted.
“It’s a pretty crazy thing to think about considering it’s kind of normalized at this point,” Christopher Simmers, another student, said. “We get the texts every couple weeks saying there were shots fired on High Street.”
UPDATE: Linear (on the left) and Reeder (on the right) were both arraigned on a felony count of first degree murder. Their preliminary hearings are scheduled for March 9. @KDKA pic.twitter.com/9qWGYWacEl
— Amy Wadas (@AmyWadas) February 28, 2020
The university is providing counselors to students at their Carruth Center at College Park.
“Anytime there’s a death of young person in such tragic way it’s awful. Our hearts are sad for the family but also for students affected by it,” said Dean of students Corey Farris.
Students who live in the apartment building are pretty shaken up by what happened.
The University says they are planning a bell ringing for student Smith soon, something that’s done whenever a student dies.