By Rick Mills, The Morning Sun
A Central Michigan University student shot and killed his parents who had arrived to pick him up for spring break Friday morning.
Multiple reports said the student had been released from the MidMichigan Medical Center – Mt. Pleasant emergency room on Pickard Road this morning, with police saying he got out just before 8 a.m.
The shootings occurred about 9 a.m.
Police are calling the murders a family dispute and said campus police had contact with James Eric Davis Jr. on Thursday evening and took him to a local hospital.
“Central Michigan University police confirm two individuals were fatally shot at Campbell Hall on campus this morning,” the university said on social media. “The deceased are not students and police believe the situation started from a domestic situation.”
No one else was shot or injured.
Questions were asked of spokesperson for MidMichigan Health, Millie Jezior, about when the suspect was taken to the hospital, by whom, why he was there and when he was released.
In a statement, Jezior cited the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and its privacy limitations regarding releasing patients’ information.
“We understand the seriousness and interest in the situation. However, we comply with the rules and regulations of HIPAA, so there’s nothing we can say,” Jezior said.
Campus is on lockdown as the suspect is still at large.
“Those planning to come to campus today to pick up students for spring break should stay off campus until further notice,” the university said.
Just before 11 a.m. searching was concentrated at Northwest Apartments and moving to the east between High and Bellows towards Mission.
Sacred Heart students are being released early with police presence.
Meanwhile, Shepherd schools – with a planned half-day today – remain on lockdown and will not be released at 11 a.m. as planned.
City workers and others in the downtown Mt. Pleasant area are being told to stay away from windows.
Police are looking for a black man with a pistol after reports of shots being fired on campus.
Buildings on campus are in lockdown mode, as are all schools in Isabella County.
State police are sending a tactical team and helicopter to assist in the search.
Agents from the FBI are also enroute to Mt. Pleasant.
An ambulance is staged on campus.
Police are working to get a photo of the suspect, believed to be 19 years old and whom they believe was released from a hospital just before 8 a.m. today, but officials said he was not at McLaren-Central Michigan.
Faculty and staff on campus were sent emergency alerts about 9 a.m. that a shot had been fired at Campbell Hall.
Officials are looking for a black man with short hair, slight build, wearing yellow-colored jeans, a blue hoodie and a pistol tucked in his belt.
A tracking dog is assisting from the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police and others are on their way from Clare and Michigan State Police headquarters in Lansing.
One officer found evidence that he had been seen near the Northwest Apartments at the train tracks near campus.
Those picking up students on campus are asked to go to the Comfort Inn, 2424 S. Mission St.
University staff will be on site to support the families.