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Student identified by WVU in early-morning shooting

MORGANTOWN – A West Virginia University student from New Jersey is dead, and two people have been charged, following a shooting early Friday at a University-run apartment complex near the main campus.

The victim was identified as Eric James Smith, 21, a sophomore majoring in multidisciplinary studies from Clementon N.J. Smith was a former resident of the College Park Apartments where the shooting occurred.

The suspects are Terrell Linear, 21, charged with first degree murder; and Shaundarius T. Reeder 20, charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Both are from Fairmont and neither is a WVU student. Both will be arraigned Friday in Monongalia County Magistrate Court.

University Police Chief W.P. Chedester said the investigation is in the early stages and while the shooting was an isolated incident, the motive is unknown at this time.

Chedester said UPD was called to the scene to investigate reports of gunshots at about 4 a.m. and Smith was found in a hallway outside one of the College Park apartments.

The suspects were arrested at a nearby shopping center after UPD had received a tip, Chedester said. A weapon was found during the arrest.

“Multiple agencies responded to support our department at the scene,” Chedester said. “We appreciate their cooperation and assistance as our investigation continues.”

Anyone with further information should contact at 304-293-3136 as the investigation continues.

“It’s always a tragedy when a young person loses his life,” Dean of Students Corey Farris said. “Our hearts go out to his family, those students and others who knew him. Our main priority right now is offering support to our campus community,” he said.

Counselors from the University’s Carruth Center were on site at the complex in the morning to provide assistance to residents or others.

University officials also reminded students to always remain aware of their surroundings, walk in well-lit areas and consider other personal safety tips, advice and services located at safety.wvu.edu.

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