NORMAL — Classes at Illinois State University begin today with questions remaining from a weekend shooting that hospitalized a female student early Saturday morning.
Normal Police are still investigating the incident, which led to a report of shots fired around 3 a.m. Saturday at an apartment building in the 700 block of North Adelaide Street near the ISU campus.
Police said they responded to a disturbance at the building that escalated into gunfire and the situation is still under investigation. The victim’s name and condition have not been released, but police said the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
ISU officials said the Normal Police Department is in charge of the investigation. Police said as of Sunday evening, no arrests have been made and they are asking the public to call if they know anything about what led to the shooting.
“We have been told it was an isolated incident and was the result of an argument at a party,” said ISU spokesman Jay Groves.
Police said a female victim was struck during the shooting and transported to Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal. The suspect was described to police as a black male dressed in all black clothing. He was armed with a handgun.
“We believe it was an isolated incident and know that the campus is secure and safe,” Groves said.
Students outside of Cypress Hall, a few blocks from the shooting, also said they felt safe on Sunday.
“None of the housing units are built in scary-looking areas,” said ISU sophomore John Engel of Gurnee. “I have to carry around three keys because of the security measures in place.”
Nick Sutryk, also an ISU sophomore and from Wheaton, said most students take precautions so they aren’t in dangerous positions.
“We almost always walk in groups and keep in contact through phones and texts, but we feel it’s a safe campus,” he said.
Students were notified of the Saturday morning incident through a series of text messages and email alerts from the university. While the messages served a purpose to keep students notified, some, such as Nicole Ringfelt, a sophomore from Chicago, said the texts left her somewhat nervous.
“I felt a little uneasy about it that night just because of the updates coming through my phone,” she said. “It was a little scary not knowing what was going on, but I understand why they want to get the word out.”
Groves said ISU officials try to inform students and staff as quickly as possible of such incidents. Officials track social media comments and opinions voiced through other outlets such as the student counseling center, which offered support for any student with concerns.
“About 99 percent of the comments were out of concern for the victim, but we encourage students to call their family and let them know and communicate all of the information available,” he said. “As (ISU) President (Al) Bowman said in his messages to the students on Saturday, the University’s Incident Response Team is currently providing assistance to the student’s roommates, family and friends. Any student in need of counseling services is encouraged to contact the Student Counseling Center.”