Wesleyan University is mourning the death of a student who was killed in a daytime shooting at the school’s off campus bookstore on Wednesday. Police are still looking for the gunman.
22-year-old Wesleyan junior, Johanna Justin-Jinich died after being shot multiple times inside the university’s Broad Street Bookstore where she worked. Police responded immediately after a 9-1-1 call was placed around 1 pm. The bookstore is only one and a half blocks from Middletown’s Police department headquarters. Lieutenant Margaret Liseo say witnesses described the gunman as a white male with a medium build. Authorities could not elaborate on whether the victim knew the gunman. Late Wednesday, police identified the suspect as 29-year old Stephen Morgan. It is unclear where he lives and a Wesleyan spokesman says Morgan has no known connection to the university.
Just a few blocks up from the bookstore is Wesleyan’s main campus where only a few students were seen outside. University officials had sent out email and left phone messages to staff and students alerting them of the shooting in the early afternoon and advising that they remain inside while police searched for the gunman.
Freshman, Jobo Gutu, says the news dampened a usually festive time on campus, known as Spring Fling, when students celebrate the end of the term with large outdoor parties.
“Most of us are left in a state of ..I don’t even know how to describe it, you know. It’s horrifying. One of our students is dead.”
Spring Fling events remained cancelled as Wesleyan opened up a commons space inside the University Center last night for students and staff to gather to remember Justin-Jinich. University President Michael Roth says her death is a devastating loss for the Wesleyan community.
As of Thursday morning, Wesleyan officials recommend students and staff stay inside as the search for the gunman continues.