Police Defend Handling of Murder-Suicide Near SU - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Police Defend Handling of Murder-Suicide Near Salisbury University

Tuesday night's murder-suicide occurred Tuesday night at this home on the 100 block of Onley Road in Salisbury. (Photo: WBOC) Tuesday night's murder-suicide occurred Tuesday night at this home on the 100 block of Onley Road in Salisbury. (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- Local police and Salisbury University came under fire for alerts sent out concerning Tuesday's murder-suicide near the campus.

Students complained that the alert emails came nearly two hours after the shooting.

Here is a timeline of the list of events leading up to how and when students were actually notified:

When the incident happened Tuesday evening, police were called at about 6:45 p.m. to the scene on the 100 block of Onley Road.
Barbara Duncan, who is the city's police chief, Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis, along with Mayor Jim Ireton and campus officials, all got there at around 7 p.m.

Then at 7:45 p.m. an email alert went out to students on campus letting them know about the incident.

While there were some questions about why students didn't know what was going on in their community right away, Lewis said that there was a reason for it.

"Had the shooter been at large we would have gotten it out immediately through social media," he said. "But we knew that the threat had been extinguished, it had been self extinguished."

Ireton said that when it came to city police responding, he and the department kept in constant contact with campus officials to alert them of the urgency of the situation.

"In my opinion the university did exactly what they were supposed to do along with the county police city police and state police making sure that the area was secured, they were taking care of the victims and then making sure that the area outside was not at risk," Ireton said. "I can only say from my standpoint that once the law enforcement agencies knew that the parameter was not at risk, then the whole 'We have to send this out right now' was pushed back as the investigation began."

Dane Foust, who is the university's vice president of student affairs, along with SU Police Chief Edwin Lashley, acknowledged that there was never any lack of communication from the minute they came to know that something wasn't right.

"We were responding ourselves in addition to offering support to the sheriff's department and to city police," Foust said.

"I have no animosity or criticism towards my contemporaries with this case or any situations, typically one you are not accustomed to dealing with," Lashley said.

Lashley also added that he, along with local law enforcement, are scheduled to meet on Friday to talk about how the incident unfolded, what was agency response like, what worked and did not work and what they can do to make any necessary improvements.
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