May 18, 2019 - 4:08 pm
MUNCIE, Ind. — A shooting at an off-campus party near Ball State University in Indiana early Saturday left seven people injured, three of them critically, police said.
It’s not clear how many people might have opened fire, but police said one man was in custody. One of the wounded had to be airlifted to a hospital in Indianapolis, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Muncie, Police Chief Joe Winkle told WXIN-TV.
Winkle said it appears the shooting happened after “some kind of confrontation inside the house.” Some of the victims were Ball State students, he said.
“I think anytime you have a DJ and you get word out there that there’s a party there, you are gonna draw a bunch of different people from all over town, so I think that’s probably what’s happened,” Winkle said.
VaShaun Harnett, 19, of Muncie, was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted murder, police told The (Muncie) Star Press.
Harnett is not a Ball State student, the university said in a statement. One of the shooting victims is a student who has been treated and released from a Muncie hospital, the statement said.
“Keeping all members of our campus community safe is a top priority,” University President Geoffrey S. Mearns said. “This is a very unfortunate event. We wish all the victims a full and prompt recovery.”
Stella East, a Ball State sophomore and a Muncie native, told The Star Press that she was in the home’s backyard when the shooting took place. She said about 50 people were inside and 50 outside when she and a friend heard five to 10 shots from inside the house. After a brief pause, they heard about 30 more shots, moving from inside to outside.
“Everyone just ran in opposite ways when the shooting started. I just grabbed my friends and ran as far as I could. I was trying to stay calm but knew it was very serious and just had to get away,” East said.
Vice President Mike Pence, who delivered the commencement address Saturday at Taylor University in nearby Upland, commented on the shooting on Twitter.
“Landed in Muncie, IN this morning and was briefed on last night’s shooting,” the former Indiana governor wrote. “My prayers are with the injured and their families. God bless them all.”
Ball State issued a campus alert shortly after the shootings warning members of the university community to stay clear of the area.
The university said it was making counselors available to assist the campus community in dealing with the shootings.