State police now say a reported shooting on the University of South Carolina campus on Thursday appears to be an isolated murder-suicide.
The school had placed the Arnold School of Public Health building and several neighboring structures on lockdown after shots were reported inside.
State Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry said two bodies were found inside a room at the public health school and that the body injuries were consistent with those of a murder-suicide. Berry said he did not have any other information on the victim or shooter, including whether they were students or faculty.
“SLED is conducting an active and open investigation, which is part of our responsibility under state law any time there is a death on a college campus,” Berry said.
USC campus police were notified at 12:56 p.m. that shots were fired at the Arnold School of Public Health. USC sent out an alert warning students about “shots fired” roughly 20 minutes later. At about 1:35 p.m., another alert went out to students saying there was no longer “an existing threat” at the school.
Classes have been canceled at the Arnold School for the remainder of the day, as well as at the neighboring School of Music, Public Health Research Building, and the Discovery building.
USC President Harris Pastides released a statement Thursday evening thanking the campus police for their professionalism and quick response and offering his condolences for the victims.
“Indeed this is a tragic day in our history,” he said.
Thomas Chandler, dean of the Arnold School of Public Health, expressed his gratitude towards the campus police in an email to the student newspaper The Daily Gamecock. “I am also extremely thankful that the incident was isolated and did not lead to more injuries given that a firearm was involved,” Chandler said.
The Public Health building is located at the corner of College and Assembly Streets in downtown Columbia, roughly two blocks from the Colonial Life Arena.
Matt Long and Jeremy Urso contributed to this report