Two people killed in Michigan university shooting

Investigators search for a suspect (19) who is considered to be armed and dangerous

The site of a shooting at Central Michigan University, the US. Photograph: Grant Polmanteer/via Reuters

The site of a shooting at Central Michigan University, the US. Photograph: Grant Polmanteer/via Reuters

 

Two people were shot dead at Central Michigan University on Friday, in the latest shooting incident to take place at an educational facility in the United States.

Police were searching for a man they named as James Eric Davis, “a black male, approximately 19 years of age” who fatally shot two people on Friday morning in a college dormitory building. The suspect was believed to have been enrolled at the university.

The institute located two hours north of Detroit, which does not permit guns on campus, was in lockdown for much of Friday.

Police had been in contact with the suspect overnight over a drug-related incident. He was taken to McLaren Macomb Medical Centre and then released.

The latest gun incident comes amid intense debate in the United States over gun legislation following the mass shooting in Parkland high school in Florida on February 14th which left 17 people dead.

Several retailers announced this week that they were curtailing the availability of guns at their stores in the wake of the Florida school shooting. Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart, two of America’s best known stores, said they would require any purchaser of guns to be 21 years of age, regardless of local laws. In addition, Dick’s said it was ending the sale of assault-style weapons, while Walmart announced it would no longer sell toys or air guns resembling assault-style weapons.

Dicks sold a gun to the suspect in the Florida shooting, Nikolas Cruz, but it was not the weapon used in the shooting. Edward Stack, chief executive of the company, said that while he still supported Second Amendment rights, the company was “disturbed and upset” at what had happened in Parkland. “It came to us that we could have been a part of this story,” he said. “We said, ‘We don’t want to be a part of this any longer.’”

Distancing

Other US companies moved to distance themselves from the National Rifle Association (NRA) this week, including Delta, Hertz and Semantac. Delta announced it was ending its policy of offering discounted fares to NRA members, prompting criticism from some, including the state’s lieutenant governor ,who warned that the state could withhold tax breaks that benefitted the airline.

But as lawmakers returned to Congress after a week-long recess this week, it proved more difficult to achieve political consensus over the issue of gun control.

President Donald Trump led several meetings in the White House where representatives from both political parties discussed possible gun control measures. Mr Trump appeared to support many of the Democratic proposals on gun control during a meeting on Wednesday, including introducing new age limits on gun purchases, though few specific policy proposals have been agreed by the White House.

Speaking on Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the president remained committed to Second Amendment rights, following a meeting with representatives of the NRA on Thursday evening in the Oval Office. She said that while Mr Trump supported raising the age to 21 “he also knows there’s not a lot of broad support for that”, though he remains committed to strengthening the background checks system.