Campus Police Shoot Former Student Carrying Assault Rifle

Elizabeth State University in North Carolina:

Campus police pledged to beef up security at Elizabeth City State University after an officer shot a former student who police say was carrying an assault rifle on campus.

Officers said they spotted 24-year-old Rashaad Gardner with the firearm around 2:30 a.m. Saturday near the University Towers residence hall. When police ordered him to drop the weapon, he refused and pointed the gun at officers, campus police Chief Samuel Beamon said during a news conference.

An officer shot the suspect once in the leg before he retreated into a wooded area, Beamon said.

Gardner, a 2010 graduate of the university, was found by police about an hour later, nearly unconscious and leaning against a tree stump. He received medical attention at a hospital and was taken to the Albemarle District Jail, where he was being held on a $50,000 bond.

He’s charged with assault by pointing a gun, possession of a weapon on state educational property, and going armed to the terror of the people, Beamon said.

Officials declined to detail the events leading up to the shooting, but witnesses said there had been an altercation between Gardner and other students earlier in the night.

Sophomore Matthew Ferebee, 22, said he saw the drama unfold from the balcony of a student townhome. Not long after, he heard shouting and arguing outside. Campus police arrived, blocked off the area and told students to go inside, he said. Then an officer drew his firearm and disappeared around the side of a building, he said.

“I heard him yell, ‘Put it down, put it down! Get on the ground, get on the ground!’ Then, pow, pow, pow, pow.”

Ferebee said he remembered several shots, none from the assault rifle, before he took cover inside.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.