GSU Police Chief Demoted Following Double Shooting

The university president expressed disappointment with the police department’s response to the shooting.

Georgia State University’s police chief was demoted March 22 after a gunfire exchange on campus that involved one student.

GSU President Mark Becker made the decision to demote former chief Connie Sampson to building services duties. Sampson has been with the university for 20 years and was also an associate vice president for university police and building services, according to

Sampson’s demotion came a day after a university student and another teen shot each other in a campus parking lot during what police suspect was a drug deal. In that incident, police arrested Shelton Torance Flournoy, 19, Jalyn Isaiah Knight, 18, and GSU student Bryan Rhoden. Both Flournoy and Rhoden were taken to nearby Grady Memorial Hospital and are listed in serious condition.

Although Becker declined to discuss personnel changes, his statement following the shooting showed he wasn’t happy with the university’s response.

“Many students and parents expressed concern that they first heard about the incident on the news rather than from their own university,” Becker said in his statement. “I am disappointed we did not promptly and effectively communicate what was happening last night as information became available.”

The university sent out emergency notifications on campus at 10:49 pm, one hour and seventeen minutes after the shooting occurred. The university’s alert system is comprised of an emergency alert text message and a timely notification email that is sent to all members of staff and students.

As the school considers candidates to replace Sampson, Deputy Chief Carlton Mullis is acting as interim chief. Mullis, who has been providing media updates on the double shooting, acknowledged the emergency notification system needs improvement.

The university police department has 67 state-certified police officers, 35 full-time security guards, 15 part-time security guards, 10 communication dispatchers and eight supporting staff members. Georgia State University enrolls more than 30,000 students.

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