Suspect in WIU shooting taken into custody in Chicago

Local News

The suspect in Tuesday’s Western Illinois University shooting has been taken into custody in Chicago.

Kavion Poplous, 18, of Chicago, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated discharge of a firearm.

Poplous, a freshman at WIU, turned himself in at a Chicago Police Department precinct and was taken into custody by the FBI and police around 1:35 p.m.

WIU will resume its regular operations, including classes, Thursday.

Campus buildings will remain locked through the end of today and all campus residence halls will remain locked through the weekend to ensure residents’ privacy.

“I want to thank the swift work of our Office of Public Safety and other law enforcement personnel and first responders for the assistance they provided,” said WIU Interim President Martin Abraham in a news release. “I’d also like to thank law enforcement, as well as our student services staff and so many others, who worked quickly to ensure our students’ safety. Our thoughts are with our student who remains hospitalized, and we pray for a speedy recovery.”

The victim was transported to McDonough District Hospital in Macomb and then transferred to another hospital. As of 2:20 p.m., there are no further updates regarding his condition.

EARLIER UPDATE: Anyone with information should call 911 immediately or contact Macomb Area Crimestoppers (800) 222-TIPS or (309) 836-2222 or P3 tips.

“Our thoughts are with our student who remains hospitalized, and we pray for a speedy recovery,” WIU Interim President Martin Abraham said in a news release.

WIU Macomb and Quad Cities campuses are closed Wednesday and all classes are canceled. All buildings, including residence halls, will remain locked until further notice.

Counseling and support services are available to students, faculty and staff. Individuals may contact (309) 298-2453. Counselors also will be working with students in the halls.

EARLIER UPDATE: Watch a news conference with WIU director for the Office of Public Safety and the WIU interim president about the shooting of a student at Thompson Hall late last night.

EARLIER UPDATE: According to Western Illinois University officials, shortly after 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday the Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety was notified of a student who had been shot in Thompson Hall on the Macomb Campus. At the same time, a fire alarm pull station was activated in Thompson, and the building was evacuated.

All classes scheduled at Western Illinois University for Wednesday have been canceled, including online and in-person classes at both Macomb and Quad Cities campuses, as well as extension classes.

18-year-old WIU freshman Kavion Poplous

In a statement posted on the school’s website, officials say a male resident of Thompson was shot by a person known to him, who then fled the scene. The incident was related to a roommate dispute and police believe this is an isolated incident. Police have identified the suspect as 18-year-old freshman Kavion Poplous. Officials say he is considered armed and dangerous. A search for the suspect is underway.

The victim was transported to McDonough District Hospital and transferred to another hospital. His condition is unknown. 

Residents of Thompson Hall have been relocated.

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