(CNN) — A student was shot dead Friday afternoon at South Carolina State University, prompting a manhunt for several suspects that extended beyond the school’s Orangeburg campus.
South Carolina State University President Thomas Elzey announced at about 6 p.m. that the student died. He did not identify the victim, but did speak a little about him.
“He was a very nice young man,” Elzey said, fighting back tears in a brief statement to reporters. “And it hurts. It hurts us all.”
By then, police were still looking for at least four individuals who they say might be responsible.
Elzey said “we are pulling together as a community,” announcing that counselors would be made available to grieving students.
“Our first order of business is to make sure that our students are safe,” the school president said.
Campus police were called to the Andrew Hugine Suites Living and Learning community about 1:30 p.m. and found the injured student, the university said. Police said eyewitnesses identified four suspects who had left the campus, the university said.
The school was initially put on lockdown; those restrictions were lifted a few hours later. Nonetheless, South Carolina State’s Facebook page still urged people to “remain cautious and report any suspicious activity to police.”
South Carolina State is a historically black university with about 4,000 students, according to the school website. The campus is about 40 miles south of Columbia.
This is the third campus shooting this week.
On Tuesday, a gunman shot and killed another student inside Purdue University’s electrical engineering building. Police said Cody Cousins, 23, an engineering student, killed Andrew Bolt, 21, of West Bend, Wisconsin. Cousins was charged with murder.
On Monday, a student was shot and critically injured near a gym at Widener University near Philadelphia. Police were looking for a suspect.
On Wednesday, the University of Oklahoma in Norman briefly shut down after a report of a possible shooting that apparently turned out to be a false alarm, the university’s president said.