MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A WVU student from New Jersey was shot and killed at a campus housing complex early Friday morning.
According to WVU Police Chief W.P. Chedester, Eric J. Smith, 21, a sophomore, from Clementon, New Jersey, was found dead in a hallway outside an apartment at College Park Apartments just off Willey Street on WVU’s downtown campus.
Chedester said the shooting happened some time before 4 a.m.
“When officers arrived at College Park they found the victim outside the apartment in the hallway,” Chedester said Friday on MetroNews “Talkline.” Smith used to live at the complex.
Granville Police arrested two suspects without incident at Walmart at 5605 University Town Center just after 4 a.m. One of them had a gun, Chedester said.
Authorities have charged Terrell Linear, 21, and Shaundarius T. Reeder, 20, both of Fairmont, with first degree murder. Neither is a WVU student. Both were to be arraigned Friday afternoon in Monongalia County Magistrate Court.
William “W.P” Chedester, West Virginia University Police Chief, talks with @HoppyKercheval about the shooting this morning at College Park just off Willey Street. The shooting occurred this morning at approximately 4 a.m. WATCH: https://t.co/wkudfIRZCB pic.twitter.com/kDBOS5QcmV
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) February 28, 2020
According to a criminal complaint, Linear, Reeder and Smith arrived at the apartment complex together and then got into an altercation in the parking lot. The complaint alleges Linear and Reeder later entered the apartment complex and shot Smith multiple times. According to the complaint, Linear pounded on the doors of other apartments “so people could watch” him shoot Smith.
MORE Read criminal complaint here
Smith was majoring in multidisciplinary studies.
“It’s always a tragedy when a young person loses his life,” WVU Dean of Student Corey Farris said in a statement. “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.”
Chedester said police were quickly on the scene Friday morning.
“Multiple agencies responded to support our department at the scene,” Chedester said. “We appreciate their cooperation as our investigation continues.”
Chedester said the investigation is in the early stages and a motive is not known.
“We’re speaking with people in the complex and were nearby,” he said. .
College Park Apartments is a public-private partnership with WVU that caters to WVU students.
This morning, we lost a member of the Mountaineer community. We offer our support to those who knew him and anyone else who was affected by this tragedy. https://t.co/RCWSyikIqh
— WVU Mountaineers (@WestVirginiaU) February 28, 2020
Linear and Reeder are scheduled to back in magistrate court next week for a preliminary hearing. They are currently being held without bail.