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Suspect sought in possible shooting near MSU campus

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Updated: 8/31/2013 4:00 pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- Authorities are looking for a suspect who reportedly shot at someone near the Mississippi State University campus shortly after midnight Saturday, according to alerts from the university's Maroon Alert warning system.

The messages indicate the incident took place at the Sprint Mart gas station on Blackjack Road near the roundabout.

At 1 a.m., the campus alert system initially indicated shots were fired at the business, located near the south side of the campus.

Shortly afterward, another Maroon Alert indicated the suspect fled in a red vehicle down Oktoc Road, heading away from campus.

The last alert went out at 1:20 a.m., correcting the earlier alert by clarifying shots had been fired at a person who ran toward campus, not at the business.

Lt. Shank Phelps, shift supervisor for the Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Department Saturday morning, said no evidence of a shooting has been found, though.

"There were no reports of anybody calling 911 with injuries [consistent with gunshot wounds]," Phelps said.

The initial "shots fired" call was made to 911 shortly after midnight, he said, adding that the information released in the campus' Maroon Alerts came from that 911 caller.

That means the information released had not yet been vetted or verified by law enforcement.

Phelps said several deputies and officers with the MSU Police Department searched for shell casings and other evidence before daybreak Saturday, but were unable to find anything.

"We just don't have much to go on right now," Phelps said. "We'll try to get back out there at daylight and see what we can find."

When asked if shots were fired either at someone or into the air, Phelps said it was too early to tell at this point in time which scenario took place.

Since the incident took place in the county, the Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Department will be in charge of the investigation.

The Mississippi State campus continued to operate under emergency conditions for several hours after the incident, according to the MSU website.

More on this story as it develops.
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