VSU students heed campus alerts after deadly shooting

Posted at 6:50 PM, Apr 25, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-25 18:50:56-04

ETTRICK, Va. (WTVR) - Students at Virginia State University are paying closer attention to campus alerts after a deadly shooting.

Students received another alert Tuesday after there was a report of shots fired.

Last week, students were also sent an alert about a shooting that left  20-year-old Tyrail Hughes dead and injured a VSU student.

Chesterfield Police are looking for 19-year-old Ryan Christopher Simms, a VSU student, for murder, felonious assault and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection with last week's deadly shooting.

Police also arrested another student, 20-year-old Artarrius Jamarr Stepter, on a charge of brandishing a firearm, also in connection to the shooting.

With the murder suspect still on the run, some students told CBS 6 News Senior Reporter Wayne Covil Wednesday that they take the alerts from the university seriously.

"We had just left from over there in that area, so as soon as we left, we actually heard some of the stuff and we got the text message pretty fast," said Stanley Gaye Jr., a VSU junior.

Andrea Gentry, a sophomore at VSU, said the school sends out the alerts quickly.

Tom Reed, a VSU spokesperson, said after police receive a call that is viable, the university sends alerts to students via text and email messages, Facebook and  Twitter posts and a phone call.

"Once our police received that report, we sent out an emergency notification system, similar to what we did last week, just to alert our students, the faculty and staff, that police had received a report of shots fired," said Reed.