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UPDATE: WVU student killed, suspects charged with murder

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UPDATE, 11:38 a.m., Feb. 28:

A West Virginia University student from New Jersey is dead, and two people have been charged, following a shooting early Friday at a University-run apartment complex near the main campus. 

The victim was identified as Eric James Smith, 21, a sophomore majoring in multidisciplinary studies from Clementon N.J. Smith was a former resident of College Park where the shooting occurred. 

The suspects are Terrell Linear, 21, and Shaundarius T. Reeder 20. Both are charged with first-degree murder. Both are from Fairmont and neither is a WVU student. Both were arraigned Friday in Monongalia County Magistrate Court.

University Police Chief W.P. Chedester said the investigation is in the early stages and while the shooting was an isolated incident, the motive is unknown at this time.

Chedester said UPD was called to the scene to investigate reports of gunshots at about 4 a.m. and Smith was found in a hallway outside one of the College Park apartments.

The suspects were arrested at a nearby shopping center after UPD had received a tip, Chedester said. A weapon was found during the arrest.

“Multiple agencies responded to support our department at the scene,” Chedester said. “We appreciate their cooperation and assistance as our investigation continues.” 

Anyone with further information should contact at 304-293-3136 as the investigation continues.

“It’s always a tragedy when a young person loses his life,” Dean of Students Corey Farris said. "Our hearts go out to his family, those students and others who knew him. Our main priority right now is offering support to our campus community,” he said.

Counselors from the University’s Carruth Center were on site at the complex in the morning to provide assistance to residents or others. 

University officials also reminded students to always remain aware of their surroundings, walk in well-lit areas and consider other personal safety tips, advice and services located at 

This is a Clery Crime Alert/Timely Warning being distributed in addition to the Emergency Notifications/Alerts sent out earlier this morning.

UPDATE, 6:53 a.m. Feb. 28:

One person is dead, and two suspects are in custody, according to University Police, after an early morning shooting at an apartment complex near West Virginia University’s downtown Morgantown campus. 

“Multiple agencies responded to support our department at the scene,” said UPD Chief W.P. Chedester. “We appreciate their cooperation and assistance as our investigation continues.” 

The medical examiner has been called. University Police is not releasing additional information at this time as its investigation is ongoing.

Counselors from WVU’s Carruth Center are onsite at College Park to provide support for residents.

UPDATE, 4:53 a.m. Feb. 28: 
University Police said it is safe to resume normal activities. However, officers request space as they continue their investigation.

University Police responded to a report of gun shots at College Park at 4 a.m. Friday, February 28. 

People were asked to seek shelter and avoid the area. Officers are investigating at the scene. 

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call UPD at 304-293-3136 as the investigation continues.

Follow WVUalert for updates, including on Twitter and Facebook, as well as

Also, find important safety information at WVU Safety and Wellness



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