Mississippi higher learning officials say the state's colleges and universities are some of the safest places for a student. But MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how a pair of shooting deaths over the weekend put security to the test on two campuses.

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Two University Shooting Deaths Put Campus Security to the Test

By Daniel Cherry | Published 26 Mar 2012 06:51pm | comments
Nolan Ryan Henderson

Mississippi higher learning officials say the state's colleges and universities are some of the safest places for a student. But MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how a pair of shooting deaths over the weekend put security to the test on two campuses.

For some Jackson State University students like, Keisha Harvey, a junior accounting major, the killing of a freshman early Sunday morning is a wakeup call.

"It just makes you think, like, how good is our safety here. They're supposed to be on point the whole time, and after it happened, they have police everywhere checking IDs. They should have been doing that from the start."

Over the weekend, Jackson State student, Nolan Ryan Henderson of Atlanta was shot in the face at an apartment complex near campus. Also at Mississippi State University, 21 year old John Sanderson was gunned down in a dorm. Dr. Hank Bounds is the Mississippi Commissioner for Institutions of Higher Learning. He applauds both universities for their speedy and thorough responses, but he says there aren't many positives to take away from the incidents.

"At the end of the day we still have two deaths. We still have two young people that won't be with us tomorrow, aren't with us today. We may look back and find there are things that we can do at either of those campuses in a better way."

Bounds says police responded appropriately and warning systems like MSU's Moroon Alert did well to notify students of potential danger. Even though safety measures are in place, Dr. Bill Kibler, the Incident Commander for MSU's Crisis Action Team says there's only so much security the university can offer since the campus is public and open.

"We encourage everyone to be smart, to be cautious, to exercise good common sense in keeping themselves safe because we cannot guarantee that criminal activity won't come onto our campus."

At least one person has been charged with Capital murder in Sanderson's death. So far no arrests have been made in Henderson's case.



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