CARBONDALE — Keeshanna Jackson, a SIU freshman, has been identified as the student fatally shot during the overnight hours Sunday just after the first week of classes for the fall semester.
The Carbondale Police Department is investigating the shooting, which occurred at 501 W. Cherry, according to an email alert sent by SIU's Department of Public Safety.
Police responded at 3:12 a.m. Sunday to the area in response to shots fired at a residence where a party was taking place, according to a news release from the Carbondale Police Department.
SIU students and non-students were in attendance at the party, police said.
Officers said they found a gunshot victim — later identified as Jackson — and attempted to save her life, but she was later pronounced dead at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.
While officers were at the hospital, three other gunshot victims came into the ER with gunshot wounds that were not life threatening, officers said. The victims came on their own to the ER and from the same location as the shooting, police said.
The girl's family has been notified, according to the SIU campus police alert.
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Zachary Romero, a neighbor who said he witnessed the shooting from his window, said he saw a group of people gathered around a car on the corner and then heard two separate volleys of gunshots.
“Then the people by the car started screaming and freaking out and I heard people say 'call the cops',” Romero said.
Romero said he called 911 at 3:10 a.m. and that police showed up minutes later. He said there were around 20 people gathered near the car.
SIU Chancellor Austin Lane released the following statement to The Southern regarding the incident:
“We are heartbroken to lose a member of the Saluki family and extend our deepest condolences to her family and friends," Lane said.
He said SIU is assisting police with the investigation.
"We understand this will come as a shock to many of our students. If they are feeling anxious or have other mental health concerns, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available to help them, and our counselors in residence will be available today until 9 p.m. in Baldwin Hall and 3-9 p.m. in Grinnell Hall for immediate walk-in appointments. As we mourn this loss in our community, we will keep the student’s family and friends in our thoughts," Lane said.
The chancellor said he met with the family, along with Jennifer Jones-Hall, interim vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students, and Wendell Williams, associate chancellor for enrollment management, according to Kim Rendfeld, director of communications for SIU.
The university will have a commemoration this week, and the chancellor will attend that event, Rendfeld said.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the City of Carbondale Police Department at (618) 457-3200. You may also call the Carbondale/SIU Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (618) 549-COPS (2677) or the Murphysboro/Jackson County anonymous tip line at (618) 687-COPS (2677).