Campbell Hall fourth floor residents feeling 'oddly normal' after March 2 shooting
With a vacation to begin and no Friday classes, many students left Central Michigan University's campus March 1 to begin their spring break.
Among these students were roommates of Troy sophomore Adie Harig.
In her room alone on the fourth floor of Campbell Hall, Harig said she could hardly sleep that night since she was the only person there.
Being alone always makes her paranoid, she said, Throughout the night she frequently woke up with the suspicion she had heard something and check to make sure the door was locked.
Sometime after 8 a.m. March 2, Harig woke up to text some friends. Moments later she heard what she described as a series of “popping” noises.
“Immediately I was like 'those are gunshots,' but then I was like ‘you’re being paranoid’ because all last night I thought I had heard people trying (to open) my door,” she said. “Then I heard someone try my door and I was like ‘stop being crazy’, and then I must have fallen back asleep, I don’t remember.”
An hour later, police were knocking on her door. Harig suddenly came to the realization of what had occurred only a few doors down from hers.
For Harig, and many other Campbell Hall residents, March 2 was filled with fear, emotion and chaos after police say James Eric Davis Jr. shot and killed his parents, James Eric Davis Sr. and Diva Davis, on the fourth floor of Campbell Hall.
When police went door-to-door on the fourth floor interviewing residents — asking them their names and details of what they had heard — Harig said she was so freaked out she couldn’t even spell her middle name for the police officer.
Finally being able to leave the residence hall that afternoon, Harig said walking outside with the suspected shooter still at large was terrifying.
“I have never been so scared in my entire life,” she said.
Although they weren't in Campbell Hall that day, Harig’s roommates — Harbor Beach sophomore Paige Woody, Grand Rapids sophomore Dominique Bayonne and Howell sophomore Kirsten Phifer — were just as scared. In the beginning, they were uncertain if Harig was OK.
The day of chaos extended not only to the residents of Campbell Hall but to their family members. Harig said when she talked to her mom that morning while on lockdown, her mom was crying so hard she thought she was going to throw up. Concerned for her safety, Harig said her dad advised her to barricade the room with a chair.
Harig and her roommates said that while they lived on the same floor as suspected shooter, Davis Jr., they had never encountered him.
After a week away from campus and coming back to a place where tragedy struck, Harig and Woody said it didn’t feel as they expected it to.
“I kind of expected something to be different or eerie at least. But when I came back it was just oddly normal,” Woody said. “Everything felt the exact same (like it did on) Thursday night when I left. I thought it was going to be really disturbing to know what happened here.”
With a feeling of unfamiliarity, Harig said the hall didn’t feel exactly how it did before. Although her day was traumatic March 2, she said she has felt better in the days following.
“I honestly feel more weird about how normal I feel, even the day after I was like I feel like I should be more freaked out, but I’m laughing at what my friends are saying and able to eat food, and I slept last night," she said. “Life still happens between the parts where you’re feeling freaked out, that’s not something you should feel guilty for.”
In the aftermath of this incident, Bayonne is wondering why there isn’t a strict plan in place for what to do if something like this happens again.
“For the most part we’ve only really gotten a few emails about it (which said) there are resources available, but no one has come to actually talk to us about what happened,” she said. “We didn’t even get any information (coming back) about the floors being open. My question is, if it hadn’t been spring break what were the steps (the university) would have taken?”
Bayonne said they have never received any information about what they are supposed do if a shooting occurs on campus, especially in close quarters like Campbell Hall.
“Counseling services help, but my (concern) is more the action that I’m supposed to take, as a student who lives on campus,” Bayonne said.
Woody said she hasn’t talked to a lot of people on the fourth floor of Campbell Hall since the shooting occurred. She feels that most people are doing OK.
The four roommates said coming back Sunday and heading back up to their room after break, they were joking around and made each other feel calm.
“This is still a really great (university) and a great community. We are all really strong people,” Woody said. “As long as we can just hold on to the fact that we got through this and we can still get through it and we’ll be fine.”