Police nab suspect after shot fired near Bowman Hall

A law enforcement officer searches for evidence outside of Bowman Hall after a shot was fired at Kent State University, Wednesday, April 2, 2014.

Carrie Blazina

Police apprehended a suspect who fired a single shot into the ground Wednesday shortly after 8:30 p.m. outside of Bowman Hall, university officials said.

The suspect was taken into custody off-campus in Portage County shortly after 11:30 p.m., university spokesman Eric Mansfield said in a press conference in Franklin Hall. 

Mansfield could not confirm there were no injuries and confirmed that there was blood on the scene of the crime outside Bowman. Police believe there was only one gunman, and the search is officially done.

The Associated Press reported that campus police said the suspect is at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna. Kent State Police cars were parked outside the hospital, but Stater reporters at the scene could not confirm the suspect’s presence.

The campus was locked down and students were told to “shelter in place” as police from 10 agencies, including Portage County S.W.A.T., searched the immediate area and evacuated some buildings, including the Business Administration Building and Bowman Hall. 

Police are not prepared to release any more details of the narrative or about the suspect, Mansfield said. 

“Tonight, I can tell you our campus is safe,” Mansfield said.

Mansfield and President Lester Lefton had earlier briefly addressed media in a press conference around 11 p.m.

“Our No. 1 priority every single day, 24 hours a day is the safety, health and welfare of students,” Lefton said. “That’s why we’re here.”

Mansfield praised those on campus for responding appropriately to the incident.

“Our students and staff have been very cooperative staying in their buildings, calling police if they saw something,” he said.

Mansfield also said the university had trained for an active-shooter situation in July. 

Lefton said the reality of violence today is disappointing.

“Throughout America, people are walking around with handguns and are resolving disputes and showing their anger by firing guns,” Lefton said. “On a university campus, this is a place of intellectual support where we are trying to teach our young people to be nuanced and thoughtful and resolve disputes with logic, not through violence.”

Mansfield said there would be a press conference with Kent State Chief of Police John Peach to update the public Thursday morning.


News editor Madeleine Winer contributed reporting. Contact Carrie Blazina at [email protected].