UPDATE: Suspect in jail following Wednesday’s shooting

Kent State freshman Quavaugntay Tyler, 24, is in custody. He has been charged with carrying a concealed weapon.

Madeleine Winer

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from its original version to reflect the most recent information.

The suspect involved in Wednesday night’s shooting outside Bowman Hall is being held at Robinson Memorial Hospital until his arraignment Friday afternoon.                          

Quavaugntay L. Tyler, 24, a freshman criminology and justice studies major at Kent State, was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon Wednesday night after he fled to Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna where he sought treatment for a gunshot wound to his left hand from his own weapon.

Tyler, who lives at 1002 Lake St. in Kent, shot a 9 mm Ruger gun during an argument with two female students in the parking lot of Bowman Hall around 8:30 p.m., Kent State Police Chief John Peach said in a press conference Thursday morning in the Schwartz Center auditorium.

“At the time, there were witnesses telling us that there was an individual who appeared to be responding to a domestic dispute involving at least two females, and during the end of that argument, he produced a handgun in which a round was discharged,” Peach said.

The campus community received lockdown alerts around 9 p.m., and police told those on campus to “shelter in place,” which means to stay where they are, and all of the buildings on campus were locked down.

“Upon getting the facts, we had an emergency alert go out to the campus community and the Kent community to tell the people in the area that there had been a shooting and that we wanted all people to respond to a lock down in effect in all buildings while police were investigating,” Peach said.

The two women fled, and no one else was injured. Police pursued the suspect and received reports that someone matching his description was in the Business Administration Building.

Peach said Tyler then took the gun in a backpack to Johnson Hall where a female student kept it. WKYC said a female then took him to Robinson Memorial Hospital for treatment. With the help of hospital security and GPS tracking equipment, police arrested Tyler at Robinson around 11:30 p.m.

With the cooperation of Tyler, police found the gun at Johnson Hall. The female student who kept the gun has not been charged. Peach confirmed that Tyler and the two women he confronted in the parking lot knew each other and that the situation was a domestic dispute.

Police have not released the identities of the two women.

Peach said Tyler, originally from Cleveland, was placed on probation in February by the Brimfield Police Department after being charged with 4th degree theft. He is in violation of his probation with this weapons offense and additional charges could be filed at the federal level.

“Locally, he has been a subject of interest relative to thefts on campus,” Peach said. “His name is not unfamiliar with investigators.”

Peach said Tyler informed investigators that he had been the subject of armed robbery earlier in his life, which is why he carried the backpack with the gun he owned and ammunition.

Peach said the last shooting on Kent State’s campus was in 1992 when Mark Cunningham, 35, a 1985 KSU graduate, was shot and killed during an exchange with Kent police. He said the incident was similar in that the suspect led police in a chase off campus.

Court records confirmed that Cunningham fled to North Willow Street, where he was killed in an exchange with a Kent police officer on Feb. 10. He later was linked to the killing of a maintenance worker, who died on Dec. 12, 1991 at the Kent Student Center, and the shooting of another student at White Hall on Jan. 31, 1992.

Kent State President Lester Lefton said police have been preparing and training with its crisis action plan for fours years. He said the execution of it Wednesday mirrored training that happened in July at nearby Lake Hall.

“I’m very appreciative of faculty, of staff and of students for their cooperation,” President Lester Lefton said at the press conference. “We had as picture perfect an execution of the crisis plan as could possibly be given that you never know what is really happening in a crisis.”

Peach said in his more than 30 years of service to the Kent State Police Department, he felt the events last night were a humbling and gratifying testament to the four years of training on behalf of faculty, staff and students.

“Students and faculty came together in a seamless way to the point where it seemed staged, and that’s how well it worked,” he said.

Shay Davis Little, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said she and Greg Jarvie, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs, met last night with residence hall leaders just as the suspect was being apprehended.

“A collective exhale was felt around campus last night,” she said. “I appreciate the diligent and fast work of Kent State Police.”

Little said additional support would be offered at psychological services at the DeWeese Health Center, the mental health and psychology clinic in Kent Hall and the counseling and human development center in White Hall.

She said residence hall staffs will continue to offer support. Any specific questions and concerns could can be directed to The Office of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs in room 250 of the Kent Student Center.

The case is pending further review by the prosecutor’s office. Keep checking Kentwired.com for more updates.

Madeleine Winer is the news editor for the Daily Kent Stater. Carrie Blazina contributed to reporting.