University shaken by second off-campus shooting

Photo: Tracy Geibel
The double shooting occurred at 144 Meadville St. at approximately 10:20 p.m. Friday, March 20.
Focus on off-campus shooting

By Logan Lilly

A double shooting resulted in two Edinboro University students being transferred to UPMC Hamot Friday night and another, the primary suspect, being placed in Erie County Prison without bail.

In what’s being reported by The Erie Times News as a “suspected drug deal” turned violent, Devin Stevenson, 20, a university student, was arrested and charged in the shooting with two counts of criminal homicide, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault, two counts of recklessly endangering another person and possession of  a weapon in the case.

The two reported victims, Andrew Baker, 19, and O’Shae Imes, 22, were reportedly in Baker’s offcampus apartment, at 144 Meadville St., at approximately 10:40 p.m.

Erie Times News reports that a witness who was in an upstairs bedroom in the apartment told police that he, Imes and Baker were in the apartment before the shooting. He said  he heard someone knock at the door, then heard Imes repeatedly say, “Give it to me.” Immediately after, the witness said, he heard five to seven gun shots fired, and then Baker saying, “Why did you shoot?”

According to The Erie Times News, police later found Baker at a nearby apartment, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the shoulder and found Imes “lying in blood” in the hallway of  the 144 Meadville St. apartment, shot in the torso and leg.

There was what reportedly appeared to be marijuana on the floor at the scene. Neither Baker nor Imes have been charged in the case. Both Imes and Baker were taken to UPMC Hamot and there is no further information on their conditions at this time.

Edinboro University President Julie Wollman stressed that although there have been two shootings this academic year, Edinboro University remains a safe place.

“The borough of Edinboro has experienced a very atypical year with two incidents of gun violence, but overall the borough remains a very safe place,” Wollman said. “The Edinboro University campus continues to be a very safe environment because of the policies for safe living that are enforced on campus.”

The shooting occurred at approximately 10:40 p.m. around 144 Meadville St. Reportedly, an hour later, Stevenson turned himself in, claiming he had acted in self-defense.

At approximately 11:31 p.m. an Edinboro University E2campus alert was sent out to students stating that the shooting had occurred.

At approximately 11:59 p.m. a campus-wide lockdown was put into place as a safety precaution.

At 4 a.m. on Saturday, students were informed that a person of interest was in custody but that further investigation was underway.

At 6:08 a.m. Saturday, the campus-wide lockdown was lifted and students were informed that the shooting suspect had been arraigned.

“The University provided an alert as soon as we had sufficient information to do so, just as we have in the past,” Wollman said.

Stevenson is being held at Erie County Prison without bond.

According to The Erie Times News, Stevenson’s lawyer, Philip Friedman, has filed a motion in Erie County Court saying Stevenson has a constitutional right to a reasonable bail and, if released, will appear in court when required.

Following reports of the shooting, President Wollman announced a collaborative effort with the Edinboro community to prevent violence of this nature in the future.

“I will be forming a special commission on safety comprised of local and regional experts to collaborate with our community to enhance safety in the community that surrounds our campus,” Wollman said. “The commission will be charged with presenting recommendations that the university and borough can act upon.”

Wollman went on to address that the commission will also be addressing the issues of drugs and drug-related violence.

This is the second shooting involving Edinboro students this academic year.

In November, 21-year-old Edinboro University student, Trey Gunter, was arrested after allegedly shooting and killing 22-year-old former Edinboro student Tobiah Johnson.

According to a docket sheet, Stevenson had his preliminary arraignment on Saturday, March 21, in front of Magisterial District Judge Paul Manzi. Stevenson’s preliminary hearing will be held on April 1, at 10 a.m. in front of Magisterial District Judge Denise Stuck-Lewis in McKean.

Logan Lilly is the editor-in-chief for the Spectator. He can be reached by (814) 732-2266