CMU Shooting Suspect Still Awaits Arraignment, Students Praise Social Media Crisis Response

“Eerie. Outside of the helicopters, or even before the helicopters got here, it was very quiet.”

It has been days after a student allegedly shot and killed his parents in a CMU residence hall, then led investigators on a massive manhunt.

As of Monday night, he has still not been arraigned.

Campus police arrested James Davis Jr. early Saturday morning following hours on the run.

Since then, he has been in a Mount Pleasant hospital, guarded by police with no apparent sign of a quick release.

Friday morning, we know police accuse Davis of using his father’s gun to shoot and kill both of his parents on the fourth floor of CMU’s Campbell Hall before running on-foot.

The university police chief reported Davis was hypothermic and incoherent when they found him.

Police say he will face three charges, including two of open murder and one of having an illegal firearm.

The judge says they await the warrant from law enforcement.

Until then, he cannot be arraigned.

In the wake of the massive search that spread across Mount Pleasant, students, faculty, even other community members notified their loved ones in various ways of their safety.

Many turned to a unique service using social media, known as Facebook’s “Crisis Response Center.”

Within a short time following the report of shots fired on campus, the service automatically notified anyone who had Facebook by asking them if they were safe.

All of these names with the green “marked as safe” label were from people either on campus or simply nearby who did just that.

“Things started getting really hectic because they weren’t able to find him like they thought they would so we had to wait around for a while and that was the hardest part,” says Brad Law, a student at CMU.

Students like Law never imagined they would find themselves so close to violence, surprised at how quickly it erupted.

“Got a call from my mom, got a call from my dad and then I got a notification from Facebook asking if I wanted to mark myself safe and I assumed even though I wasn’t involved, it would be a good idea to let everyone I wasn’t,” Law says.

Brad says he did that with the press of a button.

“People seemed to respond to that and like it to show that they’ve seen I’m safe and I think that was really good so you are not texting everyone personally,” Law says. “On top of that, what it also told you was the people that haven’t responded yet and haven’t necessarily marked themselves safe so you still have some concern out there for those people.”

Other students like Jimmy Hollenbeck say the notification helped spread the word something was happening in the first place.

“All that I saw up until that point was there were shots fired,” Hollenbeck says. “I didn’t understand the gravity of the situation so I saw there was a crisis alert and that made me worry even more.”

While the search lasted nearly 16 hours, Jimmy says he could answer at least one unknown for those he loved.

“They were reading the same things I was,” Hollenbeck says. “It was handy because it really cut down on everyone worrying. I could tell all of my Facebook friends right away that I was okay.”

The service is simple.

As long as you have a Facebook account, it works automatically if you are near an emergency situation.