COLLEGE PARK, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — A University of Maryland graduate student with a history of mental illness shot and killed one roommate near the off-campus home they shared early Tuesday and wounded another before committing suicide, authorities said.
Prince George’s County police said the shooter was 23-year-old Dayvon Maurice Green, a graduate student who studied engineering. Investigation revealed that he had been suffering from a mental illness for at least a year and had been prescribed medication for the condition in the past.
A victim who was pronounced dead at a local hospital, Green’s roommate, was identified as 22-year-old Stephen Alex Rane of Silver Spring, an undergraduate student. The surviving victim, also a 22-year-old undergraduate and Green’s roommate, was in surgery but is expected to survive, police said.
A memorial service was scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the University of Maryland chapel.
Green, Rane and the surviving victim lived on the 8700 block of 36th Avenue in College Park. Police were called to the scene shortly before 1 a.m.
Authorities say Green set multiple small fires in and around the backyard of his home, and one of his roommates woke up to the flames. He alerted a second roommate to the situation, and they both went to the backyard to confront Green.
The roommates agreed to put the fires out, but while walking back inside to get water, Green pulled a gun out of his waistband. The surviving roommate was shot, but continued to run to get help from a neighbor. Rane collapsed after being shot multiple times. Green then turned the gun on himself.
Green, who obtained his undergraduate degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore, did not leave a suicide note, police said.
He had been a NASA student ambassador at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.
Rane was in his final semester with a double major in English and linguistics, according to a statement from William A. Cohen, chairman of the university’s English Department. Rane often made the Dean’s List.
Police said Green used a 9mm handgun in the shootings, but was also in possession of a semi-automatic weapon, several rounds of ammunition, a machete and a baseball bat. Both guns were obtained legally by Green, and the semi-automatic was purchased less than a month ago at a store in Silver Spring.
Police said Tuesday evening that the fully loaded, semi-automatic weapon is a .22 caliber rifle manufactured by Israel Weapons Industries. Authorities identified the model as a UZI B.
Tuesday afternoon, the pavement in front of the home was still soaked with blood, where Rane lay after being shot. In the backyard, remnants of the fire remained, including a half-melted white plastic table surrounded by unspent charcoal briquettes.
The kitchen window and a rear window of a next-door neighbor’s car were shot out, but police say no one else was injured.
Neighbor Frank Keeler went to investigate after his wife said she heard about 10 gunshots. He saw medics attending to the two victims.
“I knew this guy was going to die,” he said, pointing to the spot on the street. “I’ve seen shootings before, and he was not in good shape.”
One neighbor who declined to give her name said the students living in the house had just moved in a few weeks ago for the spring semester.
Another neighbor, senior Paul Rowe, said he and his roommates heard a series of sounds and couldn’t tell if it was gunshots or firecrackers.
“We figured if they were gunshots, we should probably stay inside, and if they were firecrackers, we’d find out later,” he said.
While there have been some crimes like robberies in and near campus, Rowe said he figured Tuesday’s shooting was “a freak event. You can’t really see it coming. I don’t think any of the roommates expected him to pull a gun and pop the other two.”
The shooting occurred in a neighborhood of single-family homes a few blocks from the back side of the Maryland campus. Most of the homes are rented out by students.
“We heard the gunshots. People thought it was fireworks,” said University of Maryland senior Patti Schult, who lives about a block away from the shooting scene. “It’s definitely a shock, it happening so close to home.”
Neighbors said the street is relatively quiet for student housing, and that they were not aware of any ongoing problems at the house.
University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell said it is “extremely rare” for a Maryland student to be killed in gun violence, though he did not have exact figures.
University of Maryland President Wallace Loh called the shooting “a great tragedy for the University of Maryland, for the entire community.”
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