Image courtesy: Richard Reid
Justin Bernard Singleton (Image: Claflin University)
Brandon Robinson (Image: SC State Univ. Athletics Website)
Orangeburg, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina State University officials have confirmed that a student shot on campus has died.
South Carolina State University Police Chief Mernard Clarkson confirmed the death early Friday evening. The Orangeburg County Coroner's office identified the victim as 20-year-old Brandon Robinson of Orangeburg.
News19 has learned Robinson was a redshirt junior on the school's football team. He previously attended nearby Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School.
"We are extraordinarily sad about this," said SC State President Thomas Elzey, who choked up as he spoke at a news conference late Friday. "He's a very nice young man...and it hurts. It hurts us all." Related Coverage: Former Coach Remembers Fallen Player | Slain Football Player's Stepfather Had Just Died
Elzey said grief counselors are being made available to students. He also said South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has sent her condolences and pledged her support.
The shooting took place around 1:30 p.m. Friday outside the Andrew Hugine Dorms at the Orangeburg college. The State Law Enforcement Division has taken over as the lead agency.
Clarkson said his officers have not yet apprehended the suspects, but said they have one person of interest who he wouldn't name. He said he's confident the group left the campus.
"The students are safe," Clarkson said at a news conference late Friday afternoon. "The perimeter of the campus has been secured."
The lockdown which had been in place on campus for several hours has been lifted. Campus entry and exit is only through the Gate Five entrance on Chestnut Street.
Clarkson said the school has identified a person of interest, but that name is not being released yet. A motive also hasn't been determined.
While the school has not identified anyone involved, police at Claflin University, which is located just across the street from SC State, issued their own alert to students. News19 obtained the alert from a source. In it, they identified one of the suspects as Justin Bernard Singleton of Charleston.
Claflin's campus was on lockdown for almost two hours, but that restriction also has since been lifted.
It's unclear when SC State issued the lockdown, but the university did not send out notices through social media that there was a campus emergency until after 3 p.m.
"As soon as we got the information, and determined that it was an ongoing imminent danger to the university community, we started relaying the information through the appropriate emergency mass communication systems that work well here at the university," Clarkson said when asked about the response. Related Coverage: Students Say Notification from School Came Late
South Carolina State and Claflin are historically black colleges located in Orangeburg, which is about 35 miles from Columbia.