WIU Student Shoots Roommate in Residence Hall
The WIU freshman surrendered to police and has been charged with attempted murder.
Macomb, Illinois – A Western Illinois University (WIU) student suspected of shooting his roommate on Tuesday night has surrendered to police.
The suspect has been identified as WIU freshman Kavion Poplous, 18. He was considered armed and dangerous before he turned himself in, reports WGN9. He was taken into custody by the FBI around 1:35 p.m. Wednesday. Poplous faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated discharge of a firearm.
The shooting happened at WIU’s Thompson Hall at about 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, reports ABC News. Both Poplous and the victim lived there. The victim was first taken to McDonough District Hospital and then to another medical facility where he went into surgery for his injuries. The victim’s identity has not been released.
No one else was injured during the ordeal.
WGEM is reporting that an emergency notification was sent by WIU to students and parents via email, phone calls and text. Students were told to follow police orders and “make sure your hands are in plain view.”
Additionally, the fire alarm was pulled after the shooting, prompting the evacuation of Thompson Hall. Students were temporarily relocated to Western Hall and local businesses provided pizza and water.
“I want to thank the swift work of our Office of Public Safety and other law enforcement personnel and first responders for the assistance they provided,” Interim President Martin Abraham wrote in a statement. “I’d also like to thank law enforcement, as well as our student services staff and so many others, who worked quickly to ensure our students’ safety. Our thoughts are with our student who remains hospitalized, and we pray for a speedy recovery.”
Investigators are still trying to determine the motive for the shooting, which university officials described it as a “roommate dispute.”
Before Poplous turned himself in, in-person and online classes were canceled Wednesday and WIU’s Macomb and Quad Cities campuses were closed. Regular operations resumed Thursday.
Counseling services have been made available for students, faculty and staff. Mental health professionals held small group sessions in dormitories on Wednesday.