KENT, Ohio (WKBN) – Police arrested Kent State University freshman Quavaugntay Tyler, 24, after he got into an argument with two female students and accidentally shot himself in the hand on the KSU campus Wednesday night.
Tyler was arrested on a fourth-degree felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon, according to a Kent State press release. According to police, Tyler was on five years probation surrounding a felony theft charge out of Brimfield. This latest incident is a violation of his parole, and federal charges could be forthcoming.
Police also said he has been a person of interest in some campus thefts.
After Tyler pulled the gun out, it discharged. The injury to his hand was the only one reported. The two female students then fled, and one later called Kent State police.
Police found the gun and ammunition at Johnson Hall, an on-campus dormitory. They said Tyler left it with a female student there. The student hasn’t been charged yet, but police are looking at her.
Police said Tyler cooperated with the investigation and he was arrested about 11:30 p.m. at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, where he had gone for treatment of his injury.
“We had already been monitoring by gps and cell phone, the location of this individual,” said Kent State University Police Chief John Peach.
The chief said Tyler told police he had the gun because he was the victim of an armed robbery earlier in his life.
“Police did interview multiple witnesses, developed those leads, and apprehended the suspect,” said Eric Mansfield, executive director of medial relations at Kent State University.
University officials said emergency personnel completed active shooter training in July and that all procedures were followed during Wednesday night’s situation.
Shortly after the shooting, the university sent out a text alert.
Freshman Nicole Jelinek said there was some confusion in the library.
“The static over the speaker came on. It was really hard to hear, everyone got quiet. We didn’t know what was going on,” Jelinek said.
Chief Peach said the technology in some of the buildings didn’t work, even though it was tested just six weeks ago.
“We made notes those speakers that had difficulties and we responded to them. The protocol is extremely good,” Peach said.
Another student said he is pleased with the way Kent handled the situation and feels safe on campus.
“I thought they did well informing us and really locked down the place,” said sophomore Raymond Allan.
Chief Peach said it has been 22 years since the last campus shooting.
He said he is pleased with the response from students, staff and officers and said his department will use any problems as a learning experience.
“The calmness we saw in students in the academic buildings was quite surprising,” Peach said.
To see a reporting of crime statistics for the city of Kent, click here.