BREAKING: Two people shot near Campbell Hall on CMU campus, sour - WNEM TV 5

CMU shooting suspect transferred to jail cell

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Source: Isabella County Sheriff Source: Isabella County Sheriff
Bellwood Police Officer James Davis Sr. Bellwood Police Officer James Davis Sr.
James Davis Jr. (Source: Mt. Pleasant) James Davis Jr. (Source: Mt. Pleasant)
MT. PLEASANT, MI (WNEM) -

The teen suspected in the shooting death of his parents on Central Michigan University's campus has been transferred out of the hospital and into an Isabella County jail cell.

Appearing before a judge via video on March 6, James Eric Davis Jr., 19, was formally charged with three counts, including two counts of open murder and one count of felony firearm.

A $1.25 million cash surety bond was set.

>>WATCH: Arraignment of CMU shooting suspect<<

During the arraignment, Davis told the judge he did not want a court-appointed attorney and he wished to represent himself.

The judge ruled Defense Attorney Joshua Blanchard would represent him for March 6's proceeding, but it is unclear if Blanchard will be representing Davis any longer.

>>WATCH: CMU holds press conference after suspect arrested<<

It all started on March 2 when students on campus reported they received automated messages from the university just after 9 a.m. warning of shots fired near the fourth floor of Campbell Hall. The student dormitory is located on W. Broomfield Street. 

Two people, identified as James Davis Sr. and Diva Davis - the suspect's parents - were killed. They were both 47-years-old.

Yeagley said from witness interviews and video footage, police know Davis went to the parking lot to the family vehicle, retrieved a handgun and went back to the resident hall.

The resident hall had more open entrances as students were packing up for spring break, Yeagley said.

The father was a part-time police officer for the Bellwood Police Department in Illinois for 20 years. He was also a military veteran and served a few tours, Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey said.

>>Slideshow: Mid-Michigan mug shots<<

Harvey said Davis Sr. grew up in Bellwood and had three kids.

Police believe the situation started from a domestic situation.

Michigan State Police said the suspect used his father's gun in the shooting, which was recovered at the scene.

One woman said her son is roommates with the suspect.

"His first text to me was 9 a.m. It said, 'Mom, I think my roommate just shot his mom,'" said Debra Williams, Davis' roommate's mother.

Williams was shaken and terrified as she described talking to her son who was inside his dorm room on the fourth floor of Campbell Hall when the alleged suspect opened fire, killing his parents.

"He said that the father was laying across his doorstep. So, he had to step over him to go out. So, I'm just hoping he's OK right now," said Debra Williams, Davis' roommate's mother.

Williams said her son took action right away and hid.

"He said another roommate just ran in his room and they locked the door and called the police. And it was about 15 minutes of not even hearing from him," Williams said.

>>Watch Williams interview here.<<

No one else was hurt.

CBS Chicago confirmed Davis graduated from the Plainfield School District in Illinois in 2016. 

Prior to the shooting, campus police had an incident with Davis on Thursday, March 1 about 9:45 p.m.

Davis approached campus police very scared saying, "someone was going to kill him" and said the person had a gun, police said.

Police tried to calm him down and gain more information, but they said he was very vague.

Police said they did get a name of someone Davis' claimed threatened him.

Officers then located that individual and brought them to the safety department for questions.

Yeagley said from their investigation, they could not find a credible threat against Davis or anyone else.

Davis then told campus he felt safe and would return home with his cousin for spring break on Friday.

At  1:30 a.m. on Friday, police saw Davis at his residence hall complex with a number of suitcases and approached him to reassure that he was feeling safe.

Yeagley said Davis was acting in a way that was "not reasonable or logical".

>>More: Family friend: Son of parents slain in dorm a 'good kid'<<

The officers had Davis call his parents and the officers spoke with them about Davis' actions over the past few hours.

Yeagley said officers believed that this was a drug-related incident because of his behavior and that Davis should be taken to the hospital.

He was later transported to University of Michigan Health Services for a possible drug-related incident. Around 3 a.m. Davis escaped from the hospital, sparking a search by both hospital staff and police.

Crews searched the area on foot for about 15 minutes before they found Davis. He was then taken back to the hospital.

Hours later his parents picked him up and took him back to Campbell Hall, leading to the deadly shooting.

>>Listen: Initial call from CMU police about shooting<<  

CMU police said multiple law enforcement agencies were actively looking for him after the shooting. More than 100 officers took part in the search on Friday.

Yeagley said there was a combination of local, state, and national efforts to find the suspect.

>>Read more: Residents on edge<<

The campus was put on lockdown and students were told to shelter in place.

>>Watch: Cell phone video shows search for CMU shooting suspect<<

About 3:15 p.m. CMU said uniformed officers began assisting individuals to leave campus buildings. The university said students in residence halls can remain in the halls or they can leave with uniformed officers.

Campbell Hall is now open. The fourth floor was on lockdown longer than the rest of the hall because it was an active crime scene. The Michigan State Police Crime Lab is processing the scene.

Residential students need their CMU ID to enter the halls.

"Those planning to come to campus today to pick up students for spring break should stay off campus until further notice. Please go to the Comfort Inn, 2424 S. Mission St. University staff will be on site to support the families," the university said in a press release. 

Friday was the final day before spring break for students. 

>>Watch: What you should do if you're barricaded on campus<<

Michigan State Police have choppers, canine crews and Emergency Support Team resources were on the scene to help.

Davis, Jr. was found by the railroad tracks north of Bellows Road, that pass through the north end of campus, shortly after midnight on Saturday.

Police said a train employee spotted Davis and officers responded within minutes.

Bill Yeagley, director of Public Safety at CMU, said he was arrested without incident and was taken to McLaren for hypothermic treatment.

Police said once Davis is medically treated, he will be transported to the Isabella County Jail.

"This has been a tragic day at Central Michigan University," CMU President George Ross said.

Ross thanked law enforcement for their efforts and said the safety of students and staff is the number one priority.

He said right now they are dealing with the incident and once that is over they will review the university's policies and procedures, but for the time being they are worried about families.

Ross also said he wants students to talk about the incident over spring break. He doesn't want them to hold it inside. He said counseling services will be available to students when they come back from spring break.

>>Click here to read the full statement from President Ross<<

Mt. Pleasant, Coleman, Meridian and Bullock Creek Schools were all in secure mode on Friday. Midland Schools were in safe mode.

We're told all Mt. Pleasant businesses received an automated call from the county telling them to lock their doors. 

Facebook created a crisis response Friday afternoon where CMU students and Mt. Pleasant residents could mark themselves safe.

Gov. Rick Snyder was on campus on Friday. During a press conference he said law enforcement will not stop until the suspect is in custody.

He said once the day is over, they need to support students in whatever they need to deal with the traumatic event.

Snyder also said the state is actively looking at what it can do in schools to better protect students and staff.

Congressman John Moolenaar issued a statement on today's shooting:

"Today's tragedy breaks the hearts of everyone who is a part of the CMU community. I know the university works hard to ensure a safe learning environment for all of its students, faculty and staff. State, local and tribal law enforcement is doing everything it can to apprehend the suspect and protect the community."

Sen. Judy Emmons issued the following statement: 

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the shooting today at Central Michigan University. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and all those affected by this tragedy.

“I want to thank campus, city, county, state and tribal law enforcement agencies for their quick response to help protect the students and the entire community.”

Special Olympics Michigan cancelled the Mt. Pleasant District Basketball Tournament in light of the incident. The tournament was scheduled for March 3 at the Morey Courts in Mt. Pleasant.

In response to social media comments, the university is directing all donations towards the counseling center.

All planned campus events and activities have been canceled until further notice. That includes Saturday classes.

The investigation is still ongoing.

**Editor's note: A previous version of this story reported - CMU police said they did have contact with Davis Thursday night. He was taken to McLaren Hospital in what officers believe was a "drug-related incident."  

McLaren said they have no record of the suspect as a patient and CMU reported that information in error.

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