ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The search continues for a suspect following a report of shots fired near the campus of St. Louis Community College-Forest Park Wednesday morning.
“We have two witnesses who say that two males were arguing,” reported SLCC-Forest Park police chief Richard Banahan. “One pushed another. The subject who was pushed produced a handgun and fired several shots at the victim.”
All this happened right around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday a few steps away from the western end of the SLCC-FP campus, near the Hampton Inn along Oakland Ave.
Despite the potential danger of a gunman running loose in the area, Chief Banahan says the decision was made not to institute a campus-wide lockdown.
“There is a lockdown procedure (in the college security manual), we just didn’t do it,” Banahan said. “Because the shooter was going away from campus (westbound) at that point and we didn’t feel it was necessary.”
St. Louis police helicopters circled overhead as students kept pouring into the campus, many unaware of why there was a police presence.
Other city officers working in conjunction with campus police searched the campus with K-9 dogs, but there was no immediate report of a suspect being captured.
St. Louis police captain Ronnie Robinson said while at least two .380 caliber shell casings had been recovered near the scene, they still hadn’t found a person fitting the description of the shooting victim, nor had any blood been found at the scene.
He said they’ll continue searching for the gunman, described as a tall black male with a slim build, wearing dark jeans and a blue hoodie.
Richard Banahan, the campus police chief, praised the quick response time of city police and says they had actually held a day-long training exercise just a few weeks ago.
“The captain and I, and a city SWAT team, practiced this very drill,” he said. “We spend an entire eight-hour day doing nothing but training for this very possibility.”
Banahan says students, faculty and staff were also alerted to the shooting within moments using a service called Net Notifier, along with an e-mail and telephone calls.
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