MSU Students React to Emergency Text Alert Sent 2 Hours After Shooting

Posted at 5:42 PM, Feb 01, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-02 18:22:44-05

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Investigators say a gunman shot 20-year-olds Dominique James, “DJ,” Nolff of Middleville (pictured) and Corbin Holwerda of Grand Haven.

Corbin was treated and released for a single gunshot wound at Sparrow Hospital, but family friends say DJ suffered several gunshots, and died Saturday morning.

Many MSU students say when they finally heard what happened, there was an outpouring of prayers and thoughts sent to DJ, Corbin and their families.

MSU Police say they sent out a mass text alert to students at around 11 pm Friday night, more than 2 hours after the shooting, because they had to confirm details with the East Lansing Police Department first.

“I’m honestly very surprised. I’m kind of shocked, and I’m kind of upset that the University didn`t notify me and let me know exactly what was going on,” says Andrew Stefanick, MSU junior.

“You would hope that they’d get it out sooner because there could be things that would happen afterwards. You’d want to have quicker notice,” says Justin Klass, MSU graduate student.

“When a tragedy hits so close to home like that, Spartans want to know as soon as possible. We want to be able to react and to empathize with that individual and their families, and band together, because that’s what Spartans do,” says Hannah Watts, MSU sophomore.

Others say a text message doesn’t change things.

“For me personally being so close, if I got the text or not, I don’t think it would have changed my safety; maybe I would have locked the door,” says Brian Perry, MSU senior.

Many Spartans say this shooting demands greater police presence off campus, and heightened building security.

“It just shows how easy it is, you can just be roaming around and walk in anywhere; especially living off-campus, I think that exposes us to more people, whether that`s homeless or whatever,” says Perry.

Investigators say the gunman is still at large and describe him as a black man in his early twenties with an average height and build, who was wearing tan pants, a black coat and black shoes or boots at the time of the shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to get in touch with the East Lansing Police Department at (517) 319-6884.