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Classes canceled at WIU after overnight shooting on campus


MACOMB (WGEM) -- A Western Illinois University student was shot by his roommate in Thompson Hall Tuesday night, university officials said.

"There were no other injuries. The student was taken by ambulance to our local hospital, " WIU spokesperson Darcie Shinberger said.

WIU Interim President Martin Abraham said the injured student was transferred to another hospital overnight and he was in surgery Wednesday morning.

Authorities were not able to find the shooter when they arrived at approximately 10:40 p.m. Police were aware of his identity and were searching for him.

The university identified the suspect as Kavion Poplous, 18, a WIU freshman. Authorities said Poplous was "armed and dangerous" and a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

An alert was sent out via email, phone calls and texts through the university's emergency alert system, which is available to students and parents.

Officials urged students to follow instructions from police, and were told to "make sure your hands are in plain view."

Someone pulled the fire alarm after the shooting, which prompted the evacuation of the residence hall and the relocation of students to another part of campus, authorities said.

"We have members of our university counseling center who will be coming in. We have people there with our students. We're obviously taking calls from parents," Shinberger explained.

University leaders announced at 3:00 am on Wednesday that all classes were canceled for Wednesday. Officials say this includes both online and in-person classes at the Macomb and Moline campuses, as well as extension classes.

There is a press briefing schedule for 10 a.m. on campus with university officials. We will update the story as the information comes into our newsroom.

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