Students worry for the safety of their friends on campus


Lake Orion junior Erin Mooney was driving home, looking forward to spending spring break in Florida, when she received a frantic phone call from her best friend. She was scared and wanted to know if Mooney was okay. 

Until she received that call, Mooney had no idea that two people had been shot to death on the campus of Central Michigan University.

“I had no idea what was going on at the time,” Mooney said. “It’s crazy to think that something like that happened at our school because it’s a situation most people never imagine (they will) be in.”

At about 9 a.m. Central Michigan University Police Department issued a Central Alert, an automated emergency message that is sent to students and staff. The alerts are issued after a public safety issue is discovered. The initial message stated that a report of shots fired had been received in Campbell Hall. A second message, which was delivered throughout the campus lockdown, advised students that police were searching for the suspected shooter.

James Eric Davis Jr. is believed to had shot two people to death on the fourth floor of Campbell Hall, a residence hall located on west campus. 

Mooney said she immediately called and texted her friends who were still on campus. 

“I feel a little comfortable knowing my roommates and friends who were still on campus at the time were safe,” she said. “It’s a heartbreaking situation.”

Although many students and faculty remain on campus due to a university-wide lockdown, some students had already left campus for spring break. Those students were shocked when they received a Central Alert phone call from CMU Police Department informing them of the shooting. 

Brandon junior Kiana Goltz arrived home on Thursday night and was woken up by the phone call Friday morning.

“I was a little scared at first but not too much, because the call didn’t say that people were shot,” Goltz said. “I kept getting updates through Twitter about what was going on.”

Many of her friends were still in Mount Pleasant and on campus at the time of the shooting. Not knowing they were safe terrified Goltz because she was so far away. 

“I’m just so scared and heartbroken for everyone there,” Goltz said.

Ortonville sophomore Caitlyn Steudle immediately began reaching out from her home to all of her friends in Mount Pleasant. She said that she loves Central and was in shock something so horrible happened on its campus.

"I've never dealt with anything like this before. I kind of freaked out," Steudle said. "It hits really close to home. I just want everyone to be safe."