Chicago-Area Victims in Michigan University Shooting ID'd

The suspect in a fatal shooting at Central Michigan University Friday morning is a Chicago-area native who remains at large, authorities said.

James Eric Davis Jr., who is believed to be 19 years old, standing 5-foot-10 and weighing roughly 135 lbs., is suspected of shooting his parents in a dormitory at the Michigan university. 

James Davis Sr. was a part-time police officer in the village of Bellwood, Illinois, the town's mayor, Andrew Harvey, said at a press conference. He confirmed that Davis Sr. and his wife Diva Davis were both killed on the Central Michigan campus though he would not comment on who killled them.

“(Davis Sr.) was loved by all here at the village of Bellwood,” Harvey said. “We are with heavy hearts today, this has been one of the toughest days for the village of Bellwood in many years.”

Davis Sr. grew up in Bellwood and was a military veteran, Harvey said. The two played together as children.

“He was like a pillar of the community,” Harvey said.

He said he had met Diva Davis at several events and called her a “wonderful woman,” though he did not know her personally.

Davis Jr. is believed to be armed and dangerous. Police advised that anyone who sees him do not approach him and call 911 instead.

A spokeswoman for Central Michigan University confirmed Davis Jr. is from Plainfield, Illinois.

Plainfield Central High School confirmed that Davis Jr. is a former student. Officials said he graduated from the southwest suburban school in 2016. Prior to that he attended Plainfield South, district officials said. 

He was a basketball player at both schools, according to District 202 spokesman Tom Hernandez.

University police believe the shooting developed from a "family-type domestic situation," Lt. Larry Klaus said at a news conference.

Illinois State Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch tweeted Friday afternoon that the shooting "strikes close to home."

"My sincerest condolences go out to the family of Bellwood Police Officer James Davis Sr. and his wife who were shot and killed this morning," he wrote. "May they RIP."

Bellwood police Chief Jiminez Allen said he was good friends with Davis Sr.

“It’s really tragic that we’ve lost James,” Allen told reporters. “James was a close personal friend of mine as well as many other officers on the police department. He will truly be missed.”

The Central Michigan campus remained locked down hours after the shooting as police searched for Davis Jr., the university said.

The City of Mt. Pleasant, northwest of Detroit where CMU is located, had said the suspect was seen in yellow jeans and a blue hoodie, but Klaus said that he may be wearing something different after a number of clothing items were found along train tracks.

Klaus did say that university police had contact with Davis Thursday evening and had taken him to a local hospital, possibly for an incident related to drugs, "an overdose or a bad reaction."

A Chicago-area native is accused of killing two people at a CMU dormitory, and police are searching for him. NBC 5’s Ash-Har Quraishi is in Plainfield as a community reacts to a tragedy involving one of its own.

Police had advised people to take shelter as officers responded to a report of gunfire at Campbell Hall, a dormitory on the west side of campus, and the campus remained on lockdown by noon. The school, on its last day of before spring break, asked people coming to campus to pick students up to stay away until further notice.

Several law enforcement agencies were assisting campus and Mt. Pleasant police in the search for the suspect, including ATF special agents, whom the agency said in a tweet were headed to the university "to assist in a shooting incident that happened at a campus dorm." Campus police confirmed that victims were found at the dormitory but wouldn't say if the suspect lived there.

The shooting comes just over two weeks after a mass shooting left 17 dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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