Widener Student Shot, Gunman on the Loose

By David Chang, Dan Stamm and Wire Reports
|  Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014  |  Updated 1:22 PM EDT
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A shooting overnight at Widener University has students staying indoors overnight.

NBC10.com

A shooting overnight at Widener University has students staying indoors overnight.

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A gunman shot a college student sitting in the parking lot of Widener University's athletic center Monday, but officials said the campus was secure, even as they warned students to remain inside as police searched across the city for the shooter.

Classes resumed Tuesday morning (Afternoon classes were however canceled due to snow) after a campus lockdown was lifted after an all-night manhunt didn't turn up the shooter.

Chester Police said the unidentified 19-year-old student was sitting inside his car in the parking lot of the Schwartz Athletic Center on 17th Street and Melrose Avenue in Chester, Pa., around 8:45 p.m. after a game of basketball at the gym.

An unidentified gunman suddenly opened fire, striking the victim in the head and left shoulder, police said. The gunman then fled the scene leaving the victim on the ground.

Police said the student called 911 himself and reported the shooting. The victim, who wasn't identified, was listed in critical, but stable condition at Crozer-Chester Medical Center Tuesday morning after undergoing surgery Monday night, the hospital said.

His family was with him. 

Police said they had not yet spoken to the victim and so far had no information on a possible motive or description of the shooter.

Widener Public Information Officer Dan Hanson said Tuesday morning that "all indications are this was not a random act of violence." He would not release further details of the investigation.

Police suspect the gunman fled into the Summer Hill neighborhood of Chester, which borders the athletic center. Police K-9s tracked the suspect's scent in that direction, according to investigators.

Officers said they found one shell casing at the scene and believed the gunman used a revolver to fire the shot. Investigators reviewed surveillance video from the exterior of the athletic center to determine if it captured the shooting.

All students on campus were alerted to stay inside as the campus was put on lockdown Monday night. That lockdown was lifted at 6 a.m.

Additional Chester police officers were posted throughout the Widener campus to assist campus police with providing increased security.

Widener University is a private, co-ed university located in Chester, Delaware County, 14 miles south of Philadelphia. The university also has three other campuses in Harrisburg, Exton and Wilmington, Del.

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