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President Underwood offering 10,000 reward after shots fired at students in Mercer Village

Mercer Police reported that gunshots were fired at students who were walking in the vicinity of Mercer Village on Jan. 10. Four students and a recent graduate were in the area when a man approached them and fired six shots. No one was harmed.  

The shooter escaped, running towards the Huguenin Heights neighborhood.

President Underwood referred to the shooting as a “frightening and dangerous incident,” in an email sent to the Mercer community.  He also said he is posting a reward of  $10,000 “for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the individual who fired the shots.”

The shots were said to have been fired around 10 p.m., but the first Mercer University alert did not go out until 10:45 p.m.

“In that 45 minutes, students were in their windows trying to see what was going on and [other] students were walking leisurely through Mercer Village,” said Junior Tiffany Wilkerson, who lives in The Lofts above Margarita’s.

Nate Hahn, who lives in the Phase Two Lofts, was in his apartment at the time of the incident.

“We didn’t hear any sirens or see any police. It was bizarre and definitely frightening to know that someone could have gone out there unknowingly and be put in harm’s way,” Hahn said.

President Underwood said that the Mercer Police responded immediately.

“From my observations at the MERPO office last night, they were responsible and highly professional,” Underwood said.

In his message to the Mercer community, Underwood said that it was the campus alert system that “took too long” to notify students of the incident.  

“I am convinced that we can do much better in the timing of those alerts and am bringing in external experts to assist us in improving those processes,” Underwood said.

In an email to the Mercer community, Underwood encouraged students to seek counseling services through the Dean of Student Life.

He also urged students, faculty and staff to report any suspicious activity to the Mercer Police by calling (478) 301-4357.

As additional information becomes available, I will share that information with the campus community,” Underwood said.

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