WIU Campus Shooting Sends 1 To Hospital, Classes Canceled, Suspect At Large

By Benjamin Cox on September 16, 2020 at 6:04am

Classes have been canceled today at Western Illinois University in Macomb after an overnight shooting in a dormitory. At approximately 11 o’clock last night, Macomb police received a report of an active shooter at Thompson Hall on WIU’s campus. Illinois State Police Districts 7, 8, 9, 14, and 20 troopers and Adams, Hancock, Warren, & McDonough County Sheriff’s Department deputies were all units who responded to the scene. McDonough County Sheriff’s Deputies were the first to arrive at the scene to make entry into the dorm and were alerted that the shooter may possibly still be in the stairwell. According to reports, a resident of the dorm pulled the fire alarm to get students and staff outside. Residents were later moved to a building nearby for safety.

At that time, police were unable to apprehend the shooter but were provided a description by witnesses. Initial reports had misreported the shooter’s name. At 1:48 this morning, police released a photo of 18 year old Kavion Poplous, a freshman at the university as the primary suspect in the shooting. Poplous, originally of Chicago, according to WIU officials, got into an isolated incident with a roommate and shot them and then fled. According to WIU Spokesperson at the scene last night, Darcie Shinberger, the victim was transported to McDonough District Hospital. KHQA reports that the victim was later transferred to another area hospital. Initial reports indicated last night that the victim may have been life-flighted to a Peoria hospital. According to WGEM, WIU Interim President Martin Abraham said the injured student was transferred to another hospital overnight and he was in surgery this morning.

WGEM also reports that Macomb public school superintendent Patrick Twomey said classes today are canceled due to the ongoing investigation at Western Illinois University.

Counseling and support services are available to students, faculty, and staff. Officials said individuals needing service can call 309-298-2453. Counselors will be working with students in the halls.

Populous is still at large this morning, with last reports that he may be possibly heading to Iowa. Populous is a black male, with black hair, brown eyes. He stands 5’8” and 130 pounds and was last seen wearing a white t-shirt. He was also last seen traveling in a 2011 Nissan. He should be considered armed and dangerous. For tips to his whereabouts, please call (309) 833-2323 or 9-1-1 immediately.