Off-campus confrontation led to McDaniel College shooting, lockdown, police say

A shooting that prompted a three-hour lockdown at McDaniel College early Sunday stemmed from a confrontation between a group of students and four men just off the Westminster campus, police said.

A group of male students was walking back to the campus from a Westminster restaurant some time before 2:45 a.m. when four men provoked them on Monroe Street, one of them displaying a handgun, police said. The students left the confrontation and returned to Whiteford Hall, a freshman dormitory, Westminster police said.

Moments later, shots were fired at the dorm through a second-floor lobby window, police said. No injuries were reported.

Those on the Westminster campus were ordered to stay in a safe location and away from windows about 3 a.m. College safety officials said they sent six alerts to the campus over the course of the lockdown and early investigation, with an all-clear notification sent at 6:23 a.m.

"The safety and security of our students is always paramount," McDaniel Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Beth Gerl said in a statement. "Thanks to campus-wide emergency preparedness education and the quick work of our highly-skilled Campus Safety and partnership with local law enforcement, we can report no student suffered physical harm."

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call campus safety officials at (410) 857-2202.

Westminster police were meanwhile investigating a second incident on the campus reported just before the shooting. A student told police a gray minivan pulled up next to him as he walked along Pennsylvania Avenue, and three men jumped out and demanded his property. One of the men said he was armed with a knife.

The student ran to a friend's apartment and was not injured, nor did he give anything to the suspects, police said.

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