Coppin track star in critical condition after shooting

An All-Academic track star at Coppin State University was critically wounded Tuesday night after being shot in the chest in Baltimore's Mondawmin neighborhood during a trip to a grocery store, police said.

Dale Dunn, a 24-year-old on full scholarship from Jamaica, was able to make it back to an apartment he shares with teammates, who transported him to St. Agnes Hospital. He was later transferred to Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Athletic director Derrick Ramsey and university President Reginald Avery visited Dunn at the hospital and said by late Wednesday afternoon that he appeared to have made significant progress, opening his eyes and attempting to speak to them.

"It gave us a lot of hope," Ramsey said. Police said he was shot about 10:15 p.m. in the 2000 block of N. Bentalou St. Teammates told investigators that he told them he was shot by three people during a robbery attempt near Frederick Douglass High School.

Ramsey said Dunn was on the phone with his mother at the time of the robbery.

Ramsey called Dunn an "incredible young man":

"He personifies what you look for in a program, as person, as a student, as an athlete. He's a person we all look up to and respect, and the type that we as a Coppin family all benefit from down the road."

A management sciences major who maintains a 4.0 grade-point average, he was one of seven Jamaican members of Coppin's track team last year.

Over the summer, Dunn was named to ESPN The Magazine's track and field and cross country Academic All-America second team.

According to the school's website, Dunn earned all-conference honors in cross country during the 2009 fall season, and he placed second in the 800-meter race at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Indoor Championships. He also anchored the Eagles' 400-meter relay team and holds several school records.

Friends at Dunn's home, two blocks from where the shooting occurred, declined to speak with a reporter Wednesday afternoon, but others described Dunn to WBAL-TV as a top-notch student who stayed out of trouble.

The violence, however, was not unexpected, they said — one man said he had been robbed in the neighborhood last year.

In a statement, university officials said the shooting was "uncommon given that Coppin State University has one of the lowest incidences of crime of all University System of Maryland institutions. … The entire university community is saddened by this event."

Baltimore Sun reporter Yeganeh June Torbati contributed to this article.

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