Authorities expect suspect to face more charges in KSU shooting

UPDATE: Arraignment rescheduled again

by Jeremy Nobile | Staff Writer Published:

UPDATE 1:05 p.m. - Record Courier writer Dave O'Brien tweeted from @RCCrimeWatch: "For second day in a row, Quavaughntay Tyler arraignment in Portage Co. Municipal Court is canceled. No word on when it will be reacheduled."

Kent -- A man who shot himself in the hand during an argument with two women on Kent State University's main campus April 2 was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, but authorities expect more charges to be filed.

Quavaugntay L. Tyler, 24, was arrested in the incident, which locked down the Kent campus for several hours the evening of April 2. The investigation is ongoing, said KSU Police Chief John Peach. More charges are likely.

Tyler, originally of Cleveland, lives at Lake Street Apartments in Kent and is a freshman majoring in criminology and justice studies at KSU.

He was found and arrested while he was seeking treatment at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna around 11:30 p.m., roughly three hours after authorities say he discharged his 9 mm Ruger pistol in a parking lot off Summit Street between Bowman and Satterfield Halls.

Only one shot was fired, and no one besides Tyler was injured. Peach said investigators are still determining the suspect's motives for brandishing the weapon and whether the gun's firing was truly accidental.

"At the time, there were witnesses telling us that there was an individual who appeared to be responding to a domestic dispute involving at least two females and during the end of that argument, he produced a handgun in which a round was discharged," Peach said during a press conference at KSU's Schwartz Center April 3.

Peach said Tyler told police he was carrying the gun because he was once a victim of an armed robbery.

Tyler has been on probation since February after being convicted of grand theft, a fourth-degree felony, for his role in a scheme to defraud a Walmart of $14,900 through fake/duplicated receipts.

He is in "some kind of relationship" with the women he was arguing with, both of whom are KSU students, Peach said. He said the altercation was "definitely" a domestic dispute. The women fled the scene after the gun went off, and one eventually called police to report the event.

Police have declined to release the identity of those women.

Tyler reportedly put the bloody weapon in a backpack with some ammunition, took it to a female friend in the Johnson Hall dorm and directed her to hide it. The gun was discovered there after Tyler told police where to find it.

Police have not released that person's identity. She has not been charged.

Alerts informing students and faculty of a lockdown were first sent out at 9:48 p.m. April 2 via texted FlashAlerts in which everyone was directed to "shelter in place." The alerts, which included mass emails, also coincided with announcements through building PA systems and emergency sirens sounded by KSU police.

More than a dozen alerts were sent out in the three-hour period between when the shot was fired to when Tyler was arrested just before midnight. Many others learned what was happening through social media posts on Facebook and Twitter.

Officers from 10 different departments and Metro SWAT began scouring campus and clearing buildings beginning with the Business and Administration Building, Peach said, because witnesses claimed to see Tyler go in there.

Information came in during the searches from other witnesses suggesting Tyler "was probably off campus." Police informed area hospitals they were looking for a male suspect with a gunshot wound to his hand, and Robinson Memorial officials eventually reported admitting a patient matching the description.

Tyler was arrested at 11:55 p.m. at the hospital following treatment.

Peach credited police active-shooter training and ALICE training for students and faculty -- many of whom barricaded themselves inside classrooms -- for creating a relatively calm atmosphere that also promoted effective police searches.

"The incident night was truly humbling and gratifying because all the training that we've been doing among officers in this department, and training of students and faculty, all came together almost in a seamless way to the point that it seemed staged," Peach said. "That's how well it really worked."

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