On Saturday night, amidst the lively fervour of the homecoming weekend, the peaceful environs of Bowie State University in Maryland were shattered by the sounds of gunfire. Two nineteen-year-old men were wounded in the incident, sustaining injuries from what state police believe involves the hands of multiple shooters.
Both victims, found within the university’s Centre for Business and Graduate Studies, bore gunshot wounds and were promptly transported to a hospital. Their identities remain undisclosed and authorities confirmed neither of them were students of Bowie State University or any nearby campuses like Morgan State University. This incident is the latest in the widespread epidemic of gun violence that continues to seep into the everyday lives of Americans.
The school officials had first been alerted of shots being fired around 11:45 p.m. on Saturday. Although the shooting is currently regarded as an isolated event, the university’s homecoming weekend was vigilantly patrolled by multiple forces including officers from Prince George County Police Department, Bowie State University police and troopers from the Maryland State Police.
While no suspects have been identified in the shooting, investigators are chasing promising leads and believe there was more than one shooter involved. Bowie State University, residing in Prince George’s County, holds a strength of 6,408 students for the Fall 2023 semester, as per updates from the university website.
This incident followed closely on the heels of a similarly shocking event at Morgan State University, a 45-minute drive from Bowie State, where homecoming celebrations spiralled into chaos following a shooting incident which resulted in four student injuries.
Both universities suffered the abrupt interruption of homecoming week, a time ordinarily marked by camaraderie and celebrations amongst students and alumni. “It’s unfortunate that we’re here to address another act of violence on a college campus, during one of the most celebrated weekends of the year for the staff, the students and the alumni on an HBCU campus,” commented Superintendent Colonel Roland Butler.
Echoing these sentiments, Aminta H. Breaux, Bowie State’s President, expressed “deep sadness” about the incident which unfolded “after a weeklong series of wonderful festivities for our homecoming celebration.” Amongst the scheduled events were music and comedy performances and a homecoming after-party.
Reiterating the shock and abnormality of the incident, Breaux said, “Our campus community is very much a peaceful community, and so this is not normal for Bowie State University.”
In the aftermath of the incident, the university has decided to cancel Monday’s classes and will be offering 24-hour counselling services to students.