Firearm used in deadly campus shooting was registered to suspect's father

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MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (WJRT) - (03/03/18) - Police say the firearm that James Eric Davis, Jr. allegedly used to shoot and kill his parents was registered to his father, James Eric Davis, Sr.

James was a part-time officer with the Bellwood Police Department in Illinois. Surveillance video shows Davis going to retrieve the gun from outside then walking it up to the fourth floor. Police say it was inside the dorm room where he allegedly shot both of his parents. Police recovered the gun at the scene.

Police said having the firearm on campus was a violation of university policy, despite James Sr. being an officer of the law.

Central Michigan University and public safety officials updated the public on how the 19-year-old was found after a more than 12-hour manhunt.

Police say they were tipped off by a train company. Following the shooting early Friday morning, Davis ran north along the train tracks. Police say they found him within the search perimeter after midnight. Davis was very cold and possibly had developed hypothermia. Davis was hospitalized. He remains in the hospital as of Saturday morning. CMU Police Chief Bill Yeagley said he was not surprised that Davis was so close.

Dr. George Ross, CMU president, commented that in the throws of spring break, with parents and students coming in and out, protocol in the residence hall may have been more relaxed. He said that was being investigated further.

Police also elaborated on two separate encounters they had with the suspect the night before the shooting. Chief Yeagley said Davis believed someone was after him and could harm him. He asked police for help around 9:45. Police say they found no credible threat. They then heard from Davis again just a few hours later. That is when they decided to call his parents. Police and parents agreed drugs might be a factor.

Police took him to the hospital and he was later released to his parents.

There are still several questions that remain as the university tries to "get back to normal" as Mt. Pleasant Public Safety Chief Paul Lauria said.

A lot of gratitude was expressed for the first responders, students, faculty, staff and community at large for how they handled this incident. Officials also sent their heartfelt condolences to the family entrenched in this tragic situation.

Whitney Smith talks with ABC12 by phone in her fifth floor dorm at Campbell Hall in the Towers residence hall complex on the campus of Central Michigan University.

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