1 WVU Student Killed, 1 Injured in 2 Shootings in 2 Days

Both of the shootings happened at off-campus apartment complexes, one of which is operated by West Virginia University (WVU).

A West Virginia University (WVU) student was shot and killed Friday and another was injured Saturday morning in two shootings near the Morgantown campus.

The victim from Friday’s shooting has been identified as 21-year-old sophomore Eric James Smith from New Jersey, reports WVU Today.

Two non-students, 21-year-old Terrell Linear and 20-year-old Shaundarius Reeder, both from Fairmont, W.V., have been charged with first-degree murder. Both were arraigned Friday in Monongalia County Magistrate Court.

University Police Chief W.P. Chedester said UPD was called to the university-run College Park apartment complex after receiving reports of gunshots around 4 a.m Friday. When police arrived, Smith was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds in a hallway. The medical examiner pronounced him dead.

The men got into a fight in the parking lot, according to court documents. Smith then went inside the apartment complex and was followed by Linear and Reeder. The suspects then exited the building and left the scene in a Toyota Camry. The suspects were later arrested at a nearby shopping center after UPD received a tip.

The investigation is in its early stages and a motive is still unknown, Chedester added. Anyone with additional information should call 304-293-3136.

Less than 24 hours later, another WVU student was injured in a robbery and shooting inside an off-campus apartment in the 900-block of College Avenue. UPD issued a WVU Alert around 1:30 a.m. after gunshots were reported. An “all clear” was issued an hour later.

When officers arrived, residents of the apartment reported the two suspects, 29-year-old Edward Kolleh and 20-year-old Ethan Horseman, attempted to steal their marijuana and a gunfight ensued, according to a UPD press release.

Officers determined the victim and another individual were invited to the apartment to purchase marijuana but Kolleh and Horseman had already planned to rob them. During a scuffle, the victim was shot in the hip. He was later transferred to Ruby Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Kolleh has been charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery. Horseman has been charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery and unlawful wounding.

WVU President E. Gordon Gee released a statement Sunday, reminding students of the measures the school takes to ensure student safety, including access to UPD, mental health services, and its CARE Team, a multidisciplinary group that helps at-risk students access supports and assistance.

“As we work on additional measures, I encourage you to be familiar with the safety procedures and resources we currently have on campus. I urge you to visit safety.wvu.edu to review all safety information,” he wrote.

About the Author

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Amy is Campus Safety’s Senior Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy’s mother, brother, sister-in-law and a handful of cousins are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

In her free time, Amy enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband, her son and her dog.

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