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Towson University suspends police officer following Saturday triple shooting on-campus

Union says officer told to "stand down"
towson university
Posted at 4:26 PM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 15:55:12-04

TOWSON, Md. — A veteran Towson University police officer has been suspended following an on campus shooting Saturday that left three people, including a student and the alleged gunman, injured.

University officials say they're looking into whether the officer "performed established procedures" leading up to the incident which happened near Freedom Square where an unsanctioned event was being held with about 400 people in attendance.

According to the union representing the officer, university leaders are just passing the buck.

"The Towson community will see the suspension as an attack on a decorated, veteran officer who was carrying out the orders of the University President, Kim Schatzel and Towson University Police Chief Herring to stand down and take no action against the gathering crowd," FOP Lodge 82 President Joe Gregory.

He explained how officers were given the same orders for a similar event that was held several days before the shooting.

"Several days before this incident a similar gathering occurred at Towson University and similar orders were given," Gregory added. "Towson University leadership knew another gathering may be possible but took no action to prepare for it."

Towson University's police chief called Gregory's statement false.

"The FOP Lodge 82 statement provided by a retired member of the TU police force that cites any “stand down” order being given is reckless, misleading and categorically false," said Chief Charles “Joe” Herring. "It misrepresents the facts of the case, it hinders the investigation underway and it undermines the authority of active duty officers who continue to protect and serve the TU community."

Hours after the officer's suspension was announced, Baltimore County Police charged 19-year-old Samuel Nnam in connection to the shooting.

The wounded student has since been released from the hospital.

RELATED: 3 wounded in early-morning shooting at Towson University

In the meantime, the university has implemented increased monitoring of unsanctioned events, and doubled on campus foot patrols.

The university is also looking at potential changes when it comes to campus access for non-affiliates.

Counseling and support services are available through the TU Counseling Center at 410-704-2512.