DEARBORN, Mich. _ A 20-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man were killed during a murder-suicide at Henry Ford Community College Friday, police have confirmed.
The two were in a theater class together today, but police were unable to substantiate any relationship between the two, Dearborn’s deputy police chief, Gregg Brighton, said.
Dearborn police identified the two as 20-year-old Asia McGowan of Ecorse, Mich., and 28-year-old Anthony Powell of Detroit.
Earlier Friday, police responding to a 12:40 p.m. report of a campus assault were inside the fine arts building when a shotgun blast was heard. Police then entered Room F-111 and found the bodies.
Police believe the man shot the woman and then shot himself. Eight detectives, including four investigators from the Michigan State Police, were on the scene but police could release few details.
The 17,000-student college had light attendance Friday _ a religious holiday _ and it appeared that no class was using Room F-111 at the time of the shooting, officials said.
Marjorie Swan, vice president and controller for the college, said she was unsure whether Saturday classes would be held. Counseling services will be offered to staff and students, she said.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the young woman who lost her life,” Swan said.
Responding officers escorted some students from building while the college activated its emergency notification system to alert students and staff by cell phone and e-mails that the campus was being locked down.
The lockdown lasted about two hours during which time throngs of cars lined Evergreen Road waiting to pick up students.
During the mayhem, nerves were frayed, but no panic ensued, staff and students said.
Outside Henry Ford’s Science Building just after 2 p.m., Henry Ford student Joumana Naeym, 19, of Dearborn, said she still was trying to understand what happened.
An education major, she had been in a teacher’s office in the basement of the building when the teacher instructed Naeym not to leave. She remained for about two hours, she said, but didn’t hear any gunshots or what she assumed was the chaos outside.
“I’m just nervous about it all,” she said.
Matthew Head, 19, of Detroit was in a building across campus when a security guard told students to gather into the lunch room.
“It came to me as a big surprise,” Head said. They were nervous upon hearing different stories about where the shooting was occurring.
In the technology building, Hassan Mourtada, 19, of Dearborn Heights, Mich., said he found out about the incident when a rushed in and said there was a shooting in the building next door.
Mourtada ran to a window where he saw “the cops and their cars and guns out.”
“It’s horrible. Why would it happen on a campus like this?” he said.
Diane Green, Henry Ford’s associate dean of counseling, said the campus sent out a message by its early alert system _ specifically by a call to her cell phone _ asking people to stay in offices and classrooms.
“It’s very calm. They’re obviously taking control of the situation,” Green said as police entered the campus.
In fact, staff in her office, she said, continued to meet with students who had appointments.