Male Student Shot to Death at Mississippi State University, Suspects Fled

Three suspects fled the scene and are still at large.

March 25, 2012 — -- A male student was fatally shot at a Mississippi State University residence hall Saturday night by three suspects who fled the scene and are still at large, school officials said today.

Campus police were notified of an incident in Evans Hall, a male dorm, at approximately 10 p.m. Saturday, and arrived at the scene within one minute, according to Dr. Mark Keenum, Mississippi State University president.

Police found 21-year-old John Sanderson at the scene in grave condition. He was taken to the hospital, where he died about 30 minutes later.

According to the MSU website, the suspects are three black males who fled Evans Hall in a blue Crown Victoria.

"The perpetrators fled our campus, but we're still attempting to identify who those perpetrators are and so we're following every lead in order to do that," said Dr. Bill Kibler, vice president of student affairs at MSU.

Campus officials alerted students last night of the incident.

"Our local city police department and the county sheriff's office are all participating cooperatively in patrolling our campus and conducting a full scale investigation," Kibler said.

Mississippi State University is currently operating under advisory conditions, according to its website, and has set up a call center for worried parents.

"No one's being admitted to the residence halls other than residents themselves. That's all being screened very carefully," Kibler said. "We have not locked down the entire campus."

In a press conference this morning, Keenum said campus officials believe this is an isolated incident.

"This is the first time in our school's history that such a tragic incident has occurred, involving a student being shot on campus," he said. "Our campus is known as a safe place, and I want to assure students, parents, faculty, and staff that it continues to be safe."

"I do not believe there's any imminent threat to our students on the campus right now," Kibler said. "This appears to be an incident that was contained there involving those that were involved."