Police: Gun used in shooting was dad’s
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — A 19-year-old student suspected of fatally shooting his parents at a Central Michigan University dormitory had been acting so strangely the day before the killings that campus police talked to his mother and then took him to a hospital for suspected drug abuse, authorities said Saturday.
University police Chief Bill Yeagley told reporters that James Eric Davis Jr.’s parents had just picked him up from that hospital and brought him to his dorm to pack up for spring break when Friday’s shooting happened. He said the gun used in the shooting belonged to Davis’ father, James Davis Sr., a part-time police officer in the Chicago suburb of Bellwood.
Yeagley would not say whether the father had brought the gun to the university’s campus in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, when picking up his son, but he noted that Davis Jr. can be seen on video in the dorm’s parking lot with the gun before he entered the residence hall where his parents were shot around 8:30 a.m.
“We can make a lot of assumptions, but I’m not going to make those assumptions. But I can tell you for sure that the gun came from outside, in the parking lot, with (Davis Jr.) through the building,” Yeagley said.
Davis Jr. has been charged with two counts of murder and a weapons charge in the shootings, university spokeswoman Heather Smith said Saturday.
He remained under guard Saturday at a hospital where he was taken following his arrest, but will be moved to the Isabella County jail when he’s discharged, Yeagley said.
Yeagley declined to say whether drugs were found in Davis Jr.’s system.
He also would not say what type of gun was used or whether it was Davis Sr.’s service revolver. But he did say that it would have been a violation of campus policy for Davis Sr. to bring a gun on campus because only law enforcement on active duty or those with special permission can do so.
Davis Jr. was arrested without incident shortly after midnight following an intensive daylong search that included more than 100 police officers, authorities said. Authorities found him after someone aboard a train spotted a person along railroad tracks in Mount Pleasant, and called police, Yeagley said.
Yeagley said Davis Jr. was under guard at a hospital Saturday and would be moved to the Isabella County jail when he’s discharged.
Mount Pleasant is about a 285-mile drive from the family’s hometown of Plainfield, Illinois. The shooting occurred on a day when parents were arriving to pick up students at the university for the beginning of a weeklong spring break.
Yeagley said witness statements and video indicate that at the time they were shot, Davis Jr.’s parents were in his fourth-floor dorm at the campus’ Campbell Hall “simply packing up for spring break.”
He said police had first come into contact with Davis Jr. on Thursday morning when he came running into a community police officer’s office in his dorm “very frightened” and “not making a lot of sense.”
“He said someone was out to hurt him, someone was going to harm him, and the officer calmed him down and tried to gain more information about what was going on. … Mr. Davis was very vague and he kept talking about someone having a gun,” Yeagley said, adding that Davis Jr. said he had not actually seen the person with a gun.