Youngstown State University Shooting Is a Mystery

A shooting at Youngstown State University killed one senior and left 11 others wounded early Sunday morning. The number one question on every one's lips is this: why? Why did this violence happen yet again at a school?

The Mahoning County coroner's office identified the dead student as 25-year-old Jamail E. Johnson. He was shot once in the head and multiple times on his hips and legs at an off-campus house where members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity were holding a party, according to CNN.

Police got the call at 3:39 a.m. and said shots were fired "indiscriminately" from outside the house. Authorities found multiple shell casings from two semi-automatic handguns, one a .40-caliber and the other a .45-caliber, Hughes said.

The school in Northeast Ohio said in a statement that YSU President Cynthia Anderson met students and their families as the hospital this morning and called it "a sad day for the YSU family."


University spokesman Ron Cole said there was no threat to the campus, but campus police have stepped up their presence "as a precaution."

As of now, no motive has been released, though friends of Johnson suggest he may just have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is unclear why anyone would have opened fire on a fraternity home in what is said to be a quiet neighborhood in Northeast Ohio.

Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams said police have identified and issued arrest warrants for two suspects in the shooting. It appears as if some people came for an after-hours party, Williams said. Two were asked to leave because of an altercation. He said those people returned to the party, according to

A young man is dead. From current accounts, it sounds like he was on the road to success, expecting to open his own business at some point and studying for his future. It is hard to comment on much without the full details, but it is awfully sad that a man in arguably the "best years of his life" (as many of us think of college) would be shot while at a party, trying to have fun and enjoy a Saturday night. 

He should be watching the Super Bowl tonight with his friends and instead, he is in the morgue. What a tragic story.

Was it related to some kind of rival fraternity or drugs? Was it related to prior violence? Was it a disgruntled fraternity member? It is impossible to know without more detail, but one thing is clear: the violence is wrong. No matter what the reason.

My heart breaks for the families involved and hopefully all 11 living victims will recover.



Image via Ryan Leighty/Flickr

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