Student who knew CMU shooter says Davis, Jr. was a "quiet kid," who "didn't want to be the center of attention"

Student says he didn't see the Plainfield, Illinois sophomore for at least a week prior to the shooting March 2 in Campbell Hall


Armed personnel climb into an armored truck outside Campbell Hall during shooting situation at Central Michigan University which left Diva and James Eric Davis, Sr. dead on March 2.

When he turned on the television this morning, Menomiee sophomore Caleb Kleinman didn't expect to see his friend James Eric Davis, Jr. on the news as the suspect in a double murder.

The Plainfield, Illinois sophomore is wanted for the shooting and killing of two people on the fourth floor of Campbell Hall during a "domestic violence incident," according to the Central Michigan University Police Department. The university reports the names of the victims as that of Diva and James Eric Davis, Sr. — the gunman's parents.

As of 6 p.m. Davis, Jr. is still "at large" and "all planned campus events and activities are cancelled until further notice," according to a Central Alert. He is believed to be armed and should not be approached if spotted.

Police urge people to call 911 should they see him.

Davis, Jr. is believed to have fled north toward Mill Pond Park, wearing a dark hoodie and yellow pants. Police believe he might have discarded the items of clothing, after finding miscellaneous articles of clothing along the railroad tracks heading north out of town.

He is described as a 19-year-old, 5'10" black male and weighs 135 pounds. 

"(When) we met last year, I met (Davis, Jr.) through one of my other friends at Central Michigan University," Kleinman said. "We would hang out pretty frequently. A couple times a week he'd stop over by my dorm and hang out with my roommates and me. I consider us friends. If I ever saw him in class or out around town, I'd stop and have a conversation with him."

Students on campus at CMU were on lockdown for most of the day, following a report of shots fired in Campbell Hall. Students in the building reported being awoken by "two loud bangs" just prior to 9:30 a.m.

The lockdown was lifted just before 3:30 p.m. Students are still being escorted off university grounds by police. Residents of Campbell Hall's fourth floor are still locked down, as the entire floor is an active crime scene according to CMUPD. 

Prior to the shooting, Kleinman said he hadn't seen or talked to Davis, Jr. this week.

"I definitely didn't notice any odd behavior — he was kind of a quiet kid though. He was definitely not one to shy away from having a conversation with one of his friends," Kleinman said. "(Davis, Jr.) definitely didn't want to be the center of attention in a group of people, but he never had any behaviors that seemed odd or that would make me think that he would be involved in a situation like this."

According to CMUPD, Davis, Jr. was taken to the hospital the night before the shooting for drug-related reasons. He was released earlier this morning. 

"Once we saw (Davis, Jr.'s) name come up on the TV screen from the news channel we were watching, we were all very shocked," Kleinman said. "The feeling we had just knowing the shooter was somebody I knew — it was somebody I interacted with quite frequently last year — it was something surreal."

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Community Editor Emma Dale contributed to this article. 


About Jordyn Hermani

Troy senior Jordyn Hermani, Editor-in-Chief of Central Michigan Life, is a double major ...

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