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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