MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University President Gordon Gee sent a letter to the WVU community on Sunday addressing the recent shooting incidents that have taken place near the university’s campus.
Early Friday morning, a WVU student was shot and killed at College Park, a university-run apartment complex east of WVU’s downtown campus. Two Fairmont men have been arrested on first degree murder charges following the fatal shooting.
The following day, one person was shot and injured in a drug deal turned robbery on College Avenue in Morgantown. Following Saturday’s incident, two men have been arrested on robbery and conspiracy charges.
Both shooting incidents resulted in a WVU Alert being sent out to students, and according to Gee have left the WVU community feeling concerned and unnerved.
Below is President Gee’s full letter to students and the entire WVU coommunity:
Dear West Virginia University family,
Early Saturday morning, our campus community was alerted to another shooting that took place place off-campus. The incidents that have taken place in the past two days have our campus concerned and unnerved. The loss of one of our students and the injury of another is a tragedy that should never have occurred.
I realize it may feel that West Virginia University is no longer a safe campus. I want to reassure everyone that our University has a commitment each and every day to keep our campus as safe as possible. When acts of violence do happen, we are fully prepared to act — from our University Police at the scene to our mental health services and CARE team after an incident takes place. Over the last few days, we have called upon these resources and more to make sure all feel cared for and safe.
These two events are certainly shocking, and the University is responding with all possible resources to determine what additional measures can be taken to prevent them from happening again. We will also partner with local and state agencies in those discussions.
Our University Police do an outstanding job of protecting our campus and responding when things go wrong. Our campus is a small city and a microcosm of the world around us. The sad fact is our part of the world is also beset with all the ill — and good — of society at large. We cannot stop bad things from happening — but we can work to prevent them and be prepared for when they do.
As we work on additional measures, I encourage you to be familiar with the safety procedures and resources we currently have on campus. I urge you to visit safety.wvu.edu to review all safety information.
As I say often, I care about our students as if they were my own children, and I want us all to be safe. I pledge to all Mountaineers, both current and future, that we will redouble our efforts to ensure our campus is the safest it can possibly be.
E. Gordon Gee
President, West Virginia University