Mercer President: 5 shot at near campus, $10k reward to find shooter


MACON, Ga -- Mercer University's president says a person fired six gunshots at four Mercer students and a recent graduate around 10 p.m. Wednesday. No one was hit.

A $10,000 reward is being offered for the arrest of the shooter.

Mercer President Bill Underwood says it happened adjacent to campus in Mercer Village near the intersection of Linden and Coleman Avenues.

"As four students and a recent graduate walked through the area, an individual who had been sitting on a bench moved in their direction and fired six gun shots. Thankfully, none of the students or the recent graduate was hit," the press release reads.

"The individual who fired the shots immediately ran in the direction away from campus and into the Huguenin Heights neighborhood. Police have a description of the individual and are actively seeking to identify and apprehend him," it adds.

In addition to the money reward to find the shooter, Underwood says, "for the foreseeable future, and certainly until we understand more about the incident" there will be additional security visibly present during evening hours in the Mercer Village area.

Also, Underwood is "directing an external review of the campus alert system, which took too long to advise the campus community of the incident."

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Mercer Police at (478) 301-HELP (4357).

WGXA got reaction Thursday about the incident from students on campus.

"I heard the gunshots from my room last night. It's not uncommon that we hear gunshots," Ansleigh Seaver said. "It doesn't make me feel more or less unsafe, because there's always a risk going into a public place."

"I think we need an increased police presence -- especially at night -- and increased alert protocols," she added. "We didn't get an alert until 45 minutes after the shots were fired."

Daylen Byrd said she feels safe on campus, but does have a suggestion.

"It'll help if the Mercer Police would make their presence more known to the students," Byrd said.

Rebecca Braum called it a "freak incident."

"No one could have really seen it coming," she said. " Mercer has great protection, they do a great job with escorts and things like that. So I really think we're safe and protected."

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