first_imgLess than two hours after the shootings, a notification warning had been posted on the school’s Web site and dormitory buildings. And that morning the campus was shut down – unlike at Virginia Tech, where classes went on in the two hours it took for two murders to turn into 32. There are a host of differences between the two campus shootings. Delaware State is about one-seventh the size of Virginia Tech, both in enrollment and acreage. The Virginia Tech shootings began as students and faculty were starting their day, not the middle of the night. And most significantly, Friday’s shootings did not appear to be the act of someone bent on mass murder. “This was not a crazed gunman who found his way onto campus,” said campus police Chief James Overton. “This is just kids who did very, very stupid things,” said DSU president Allen Sessoms. Clearly, however, what happened in Blacksburg, Va., in April played a role in Friday’s response in Dover. “I think the biggest lesson learned from that whole situation at Virginia Tech is don’t wait, once you have an incident. Start notifying the community,” Holmes said. University police said they had identified two persons of interest, both students. Both were located and interviewed, although no arrests had been made by Friday evening. Holmes said an argument in the dining hall may have preceded the shootings. A 17-year-old male student taken to Kent General Hospital with an ankle wound refused to answer police questions about the shootings, raising the likelihood that he knew his attacker, according to a federal law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. A female victim, also 17, was taken to Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del., with a traumatic wound to the abdomen, said John Wilson, deputy chief of Kent County Emergency Services. She was listed in serious condition, university officials said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Just before 1 a.m. Friday, less than a month after a memorial for their own dead, the violence was on their campus. Two students were wounded, one seriously, when gunfire broke out as a group of students were walking across the campus mall after leaving a dining hall. University officials, mindful of concerns over Virginia Tech’s response to that tragedy, rushed to action. University spokesman Carlos Holmes was in such a hurry he didn’t notice until later that he had put on one brown shoe and one black shoe. Even as the victims were being transported to hospitals, campus police and residence hall advisers were knocking on doors and telling students to stay in their rooms, although not all were told there had been a shooting. “They just told everybody to go to their rooms and close the doors,” said Walter Cook III, 18, a freshman from Upper Marlboro, Md. COLLEGE: Drawing on Virginia Tech lessons, officials inform students, shut campus. By Randall Chase THE ASSOCIATED PRESS DOVER, Del. – Violence weighed especially heavily on the minds of Delaware State University officials in recent months, both because of the Virginia Tech massacre and the execution-style shootings of three of their own students in New Jersey. last_img read more