Western Illinois University shooting suspect taken into custody, students say they’re not entirely relieved

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Darcy Shinberger, executive director of Western Illinois University communications, said this incident is a rarity.

Robo-text students received alerting them on an active shooter on campus.

“In the last 20-plus years, there has not been an incident on campus if even longer than that,” Shinberger said.

Poplous is off-campus and in custody, but Wednesday, some students said they are not entirely relieved, saying the campus atmosphere changed drastically.

“It’s definitely a down feeling, it’s like quiet, a lot of people have left and gone home to their families,” WIU freshman Mallory McDermott said.

WIU administration is tending to the students’ mental health. Shinberger said mental health professionals held small group sessions in the dorm halls Wednesday.

Some students said campus police need to be of security to make dorm hall residents feel safer.

“With the situation that happened last night, I think bags should be checked until the situation has calmed down,” WIU senior April Goetz said.

Administrators said campus police are patrolling campus frequently and currently there is a police presence in each dorm.


(UPDATE: 2:40 p.m.) — Western Illinois University freshman 18-year-old Kavion Poplous has been taken into custody in Chicago Wednesday afternoon.

Poplous turned himself in at a Chicago Police Department (CPD) precinct and was taken into custody by the Federal Bureau of Investigations around 1:35 p.m. Wednesday.

Poplous was charged with Attempted First-Degree Murder, Aggravated Battery and Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm.

Macomb and Quad Cities campuses will stay closed. Campus buildings will remain locked alongside all campus residence halls through the weekend.

“I want to thank the swift work of our Office of Public Safety and other law enforcement personnel and first responders for the assistance they provided,” said Interim President Martin Abraham.

“I’d also like to thank law enforcement, as well as our student services staff and so many others, who worked quickly to ensure our students’ safety. Our thoughts are with our student who remains hospitalized, and we pray for a speedy recovery.”


“In the last 20 plus years, there has not been an incident on campus if even longer than that,” Shinberger said.

Poplous is off-campus and in custody, but Wednesday, some students said they are not entirely relieved, saying the campus atmosphere changed drastically.

“It’s definitely a down feeling, it’s like quiet, a lot of people have left and gone home to their families,” WIU freshman Mallory McDermott said.

WIU administration is tending to the students’ mental health. Shinberger said mental health professionals held small group sessions in the dorm halls Wednesday.

Some students said campus police need to be of security to make dorm hall residents feel safer.

“With the situation that happened last night, I think bags should be checked until the situation has calmed down,” WIU senior April Goetz said.

Administrators said campus police are patrolling campus frequently and currently there is a police presence in each dorm.


(UPDATE: 10:45 a.m.) — Western Illinois University’s Office of Public Safety issued a warrant for the WIU freshman who allegedly shot his roommate Tuesday evening in their Thompson Hall room.

The charges on the warrant include Attempted First-Degree Murder, Aggravated Battery, and Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm.

A search for Kavion Poplous, the 18-year-old freshman who fled the scene following the shooting, is ongoing. Those with information are encouraged to call 911 immediately or contact Macomb Area Crimestoppers (800) 222-TIPS or (309)-836-2222. Tips can be submitted online as well.


UPDATE: All classes are canceled Wednesday at Western Illinois University in both Macomb and Moline. The cancellation comes after a shooting on campus in a residence hall Tuesday night. The suspect, 18-year-old Kavion Poplous is still at large. Authorities believe the shooting was an isolated incident.

MACOMB, Ill. (WMBD) — One student is in the hospital and a suspect is still at large after a shooting at Thompson Hall at Western Illinois University in Macomb Tuesday night.

Authorities are searching for the alleged shooter, 18-year-old Kavion Poplous. He is considered armed and dangerous. The victim was transported to a local hospital and then taken to another facility. A news release from the university says his condition is not known.

Western’s Office of Public Safety officers were called to Thompson Hall shortly after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday on a report of someone being shot. Western officials say the fire alarm was also pulled and the building was evacuated.

Thompson Hall residents have been temporarily relocated. Anyone with information on this incident is urged to call 9-1-1 immediately.

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