UWO police look to students, shooting eyewitnesses for help

UW-Oshkosh shots fired
UW-Oshkosh shots fired

OSHKOSH – University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh police say they are narrowing down leads on the person behind a shooting at a student dance.

No one was injured in Saturday night’s shooting at Reeve Memorial Union – and no one is in custody.

"There's some indication that it was a non-student, visiting," said University Police Chief Joseph LeMire of the possible shooting suspect.

LeMire says more than 300 people were in Reeve Memorial Union for a dance hosted by the university's Black Student Union – a registered student organization.

"We know there was a lot of people there, a lot of people would have seen what had happened,” said LeMire. "Originally, we went over to the scene because of an altercation that was taking place between two people."

"A fight?" asked FOX 11’s Bill Miston.

"A fight.”

It's when police arrived at Reeve Memorial Union shortly before 11:30 p.m., responding to that fight, when the shot rang out inside one of the second floor rooms being used for the dance.

LeMire says someone fired a handgun into the air, with the bullet hitting the ceiling.

"People were running from the building," said LeMire.

Authorities locked down the building to gather evidence. It re-opened Sunday to the public.

Students rattled

"Since, it's like, here – so – it's kind of scary," said University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh sophomore Stephanie Schuler.

The 20-year-old human services major from Milton says what started off as a night celebrating her birthday with friends, ended in confusion, as word of a shooting spread through campus.

It took nearly two hours for an alert to be issued to students and the public.

"Obviously, the university – themselves – or the police had to figure out what was going on, before they let us know,” said Schuler. “But it was like two hours, after, so, we were really unsure about what was happening."

"We determined that the person was not on-scene anymore," said LeMire, as to an alert was not sent out sooner.

No response from student group

FOX 11 wanted to ask the Black Student Union some questions of our own, but our messages were not returned.

LeMire says the organization is cooperating with the investigation. He says a dance guest list is pointing investigators towards a possible suspect – or suspects.

"My belief is, if it's a non-student, not from the area, that there's no immediate threat to campus,” said LeMire, despite the lack of a recovered weapon, or an arrest.

Several students, he says, have already come forward with information and that campus is not in danger.

But police are asking anyone with additional information – particularly eyewitnesses with pictures or video – to contact them at (920) 424-1216.