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University remains in emergency setting; 10 a.m. press conference scheduled

March 24, 2012

Editor's note: This story was updated at 3:07 a.m. Sunday with quotes from Bill Kibler, MSU vice president for student affairs.

Law enforcement agencies in Oktibbeha County are aggressively searching for three suspects connected to a shooting fatality at Mississippi State University.

A male MSU student was shot multiple times at Evans Hall Saturday night. Bill Kibler, MSU vice president for student affairs, said a 911 call was placed from the dorm shortly before 10 p.m. The student was rushed to OCH Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead after doctors could not resuscitate him.

The identity of the student has not been released at this time, but Kibler said the next of kin was notified.

Oktibbeha County Coroner Michael Hunt confirmed late Saturday night a fatality occurred at MSU but no further details were available.

Witnesses and dorm surveillance cameras observed three African American males fleeing the scene in a blue Ford Crown Victoria, Kibler said. The three suspects are not believed to be students, he said.

Shortly after the incident, a series of Maroon Alerts was issued by the university and campus officials declared an emergency situation. Evans Hall was locked down by law enforcement, Kibler said, and only dorm residents were permitted to enter the building through the night.

A press conference is tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m. Sunday at the Colvard Student Union. Kibler said MSU President Mark Keenum will address the situation and how the university will move forward. University officials will continue to staff the crisis action center until more clarity emerges, and the university remains in an emergency setting.

"We will continue patrols and continue to alert the campus," Kibler said. "MSU is a family; this is a terrible loss."

Tyrell Miller, a freshman resident of Evans Hall, said he was in the lobby when the shooting occurred but did not hear gunshots.

Starkville Police Department, Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Office and state law enforcement are assisting MSUPD with the investigation.

Officials at MSU, OCSO and SPD declined further comments due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

Starkville Daily News will provide updates as they are announced.

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