Central Michigan University shooting: Victims identified as suspect's parents

James Eric Davis Jr. taken into custody

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Two people shot and killed Friday morning at a Central Michigan University dorm have been identified as the parents of the suspected shooter.

UPDATE: CMU student suspected of fatally shooting parents taken into custody

Diva Davis, 47, and James Eric Davis Sr., 48, were found dead from apparent gunshot wounds inside Campbell Hall on the west side of Central Michigan's campus in Mount Pleasant. James Eric Davis, Sr. was a police officer in Bellwood, Ill., which is just west of Chicago. 

James Eric Davis Sr. and Diva Davis (WDIV)

Their son, James Eric Davis Jr., has been named a suspect in the deadly double shooting.

Central Michigan University has canceled classes scheduled for Saturday at the Mount Pleasant campus.

The campus was placed on lockdown after the shooting, which police said happened about 8:40 a.m. Students and faculty members received a robo phone call alert from the university about 9:30 a.m. 

At 10:43 a.m., school officials named Davis Jr. as a person of interest in the case. He was later named a suspect during a police news conference around noon. He is described as a 19-year-old black man, who stands 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 135 pounds. He was last seen wearing mustard yellow jeans and a blue hoodie. He is considered armed and dangerous. 

Police called this a domestic shooting and stressed the campus was safe as they continued to search for their suspect. The campus has been under a shelter-in-place lockdown. 

Davis Jr. was spotted on campus surveillance cameras fleeing the area of Campbell Hall. He was headed northbound, police said. Officers were searching nearby railroad tracks and off-campus apartments. 

Here is a photo of Davis Jr. from police:

Police said officers were in contact with Davis Jr. on Thursday night when he was taken to a hospital due to some sort of bad reaction to drugs. He was treated and released from the hospital.  

Central Michigan student describes tension on campus

Ross Bailey is a freshman at Central Michigan who was sleeping when he was awoken by the robo call. 

"I had a class at 10 o'clock and I got a call at 9:30 that woke me up saying there was a report of shots being fired, then I got called later at like 10 saying that there was confirmed shots, that the school was going into lockdown," he said. 

Bailey lives at Calkins Hall. He said he saw police vehicles, SWAT teams and helicopters above his dorm. 

"They've been walking down the train tracks. A couple times we've seen people walking by our dorm just like by the road and stuff still looking out for people," he said. 

Bailey said he started calling and texting everyone he knows living by Campbell Hall to make sure they were OK. 

"I was just kind of scared for all the people I know that live over where it happened, I wanted to make sure they were safe," he said. 

Bailey said the university did have him go through fire drills during the first couple of weeks of class. 

"They went through everything we need to be prepared for like fire drills, what not, but this (a shooting) was definitely one of the biggest things -- just make sure you stay safe if you're not in a remote area of it and make sure everyone else around you is safe. Keep a low profile and don't be walking around outside and causing scenes," he said. 

Teacher says she heard gunshots

A university teacher said she was in a parking lot on campus when she heard what sounded like gunshots. 

"It was like this far away thing. I remember hearing it and I was like, 'Hmm ... what was that?' And then a call from CMU police came in a few minutes later," she said. 

Tiffani said the university has been placing lock mechanisms on all the lecture hall doors over the past year or two. 

"Once the doors close and something happens and there’s an active shooter like today, you can lock them from inside the classroom and you can’t lock them without a key. They’re like the automatic close," she said. 

Here is a video of police searching the railroad tracks on CMU's campus:

Here is a video of officers canvassing a CMU parking lot:

Central Michigan University's main campus is located on the south side of Mount Peasant, which is about an hour's drive north of Lansing. 

Campbell Hall is on the far west side of campus near West Campus Drive and West Broomfield Street. 

Watch a press conference regarding the shooting below.


About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.