Football coach Jim McElwain speaks on Mount Pleasant shooting: 'We're all shaken'
Jim McElwain spoke softly and slowly.
Central Michigan's third year head coach looked frustrated and disheartened when speaking with the media two days after a shooting in Mount Pleasant's Deerfield Village apartment complex, leaving two CMU students hospitalized.
One of those victims was junior quarterback John Keller, whom McElwain recruited out of the transfer portal prior to the spring of 2020.
"Obviously we’re all shaken," McElwain said. "It really shakes you when it comes to the core of people that are you’re so closely involved with. And all we can do is be very supportive to John and his family as we move forward."
McElwain called for anyone with information to contact the Isabella County Sherrif's Office, where an investigation into the situation is being conducted.
"No piece is too small," McElwain said. "If there’s any help that we can provide as they’re doing their investigation, I strongly encourage anyone to help that can as we move forward in this long recovery."
In the days since the shooting, numerous members of the Chippewa athletic department and its respective teams have come forward with messages in support of Keller and 23-year-old senior Tyler Bunting, the second victim in the shooting.
A GoFundMe page established to help Keller and his family has raised over $23,000 as of Monday afternoon.
"We've got a lot of guys that have really come together," McElwain said. "I think they feel the support, not only for John, but for the entire program."
McElwain did not have an update on Keller's status. A source close to the situation told Central Michigan Life that Keller was in critical but stable condition Sunday morning.
The Chippewa football team met Saturday morning in the immediate aftermath of the incident. McElwain said he is in the process of meeting with each player on the roster individually, and his assistants are staying in constant touch with their respective position groups.
"We obviously encouraged the guys to not hold anything in," McElwain said. "If there's things that they need, we've been giving them avenues that they can talk about their feelings. And not to hold it in. Obviously, we're all shook."
McElwain said he has provided contact information for multiple areas in which those affected can reach out and air their feelings. His team has come together, as evidenced by the outward support of Keller and his family.
"One of the great things in a brotherhood that we have, and a strong bond that we have, as a team and as Chippewas, is that they aren't at it alone," McElwain said. "And we've all got each other. Got each other, here to support each other no matter what we go through.
"Look, it's been really hard. As it should be. But our focus has to be on helping John and his family with the things that they're dealing with."