1 shot at Paine College, person of interest in custody


AUGUSTA, Ga. - Paine College in Augusta was placed on lockdown on Monday following an on-campus shooting.

According to the Paine College communications officer around 1 p.m. Monday, "this is active shooter situation and we are barricaded in the office."

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office confirmed one person was shot in a building on campus. Later they said the victim was shot in the head and had life-threatening injuries.

He was found in Haygood Hall, a building that serves as an administration building and houses classrooms.

"The next thing you hear gun shots and you don't know which way bullets are flying," student Allen Meadows said.

Deputies told Channel 2's Erica Byfield Xavier Cooper, 21, was taken into custody and identified as a person of interest after a search of a dorm.

The pair may have been in a fight before the shooting, deputies said. Deputies told Byfield the alleged shooter claims to be a student but they have not verified that.

The shooting was the second on Paine's campus in two days. A bullet traveled through a wall on Sunday, slightly injuring a student with debris, Belser said.

Paine College, a private school, enrolls just more than 800 students. College officials said on their social media accounts that the campus remained closed to the public after the lockdown was lifted and that classes were expected to resume at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Richmond County sheriff's deputies announced late Monday they would help patrol the campus with Paine College police until further notice.

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