CMU Shooter Acted Strangely a Day Before Allegedly Killing His Parents With His Father's Gun
Officials said security footage allegedly shows James Eric Davis Jr. left his dorm and headed for the parking lot, returning with a gun
After an intensive manhunt, authorities confirmed this weekend that a teenager has been apprehended for allegedly fatally shooting his parents, Friday, inside his dorm room at Central Michigan University.
Authorities further said that 19-year-old James Eric Davis Jr. allegedly used his own father’s gun in the killings.
During a press conference on Saturday, police confirmed that the CMU sophomore was detained early Saturday morning after someone on a train reported seeing Davis walking along the railroad tracks in Mount Pleasant.
Detectives allege Davis fled the scene soon after shooting his dad, James Eric Davis Sr., and his mother, Diva Jeneen Davis, triggering the manhunt. Davis Sr., authorities said, was a police officer in Bellwood, Illinois.
Security footage recovered as part of the investigation allegedly shows Davis left his dorm and headed for the parking lot. He allegedly returned from the parking lot, and was carrying the murder weapon.
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Authorities said they would not speculate as to whether Davis’ father brought the weapon to campus, leaving it in his car. A motive for the killings also has not been discussed.
Davis’ parents were at the school to pick him up ahead of the start of spring break, investigators said Saturday.
During the press conference, detectives said officials at CMU told them Davis had been exhibiting unusual behavior the day before the killings.
Chief Bill Yeagley of the Central Michigan University Police said Davis approached a community police office in his dorm “very frightened” and “not making a lot of sense.”
Yeagley continued: “He said someone was out to hurt him, someone was going to harm him, and the officer calmed him down and tried to gain more information about what was going on. Mr. Davis was very vague and he kept talking about someone having a gun.”
Davis allegedly said he never saw a gun, but said he had been in a dorm elevator with the person, and police went to talk to the individual he had identified. Yeagley said that officers determined that the person posed no threat and that video footage from the elevator showed Davis and that person laughing.
When confronted with the footage, Davis allegedly said he was fine and planned to leave campus Friday for spring break.
Yeagley said officers spotted Davis hours later in a dorm hallway with his suitcases, and was acting “in a fashion that isn’t reasonable or logical.” They had Davis call his parents, and an officer spoke to Diva Davis, asking if her son had a history of drug use and detailing their interactions with him.
“The mother said she too was concerned this could be drugs,” he said of the call — which happened before the suspect’s parents came to campus. Yeagley refused to discuss if drugs were found in Davis’ system.
Davis has been hospitalized since his arrest, and has been receiving treatment for hypothermia.
Davis’ has two siblings, who could not be reached by PEOPLE for comment. They have reacted through social media.
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“Today I lost my parents…the only people that loved me unconditionally,” the Davis’ daughter, Alexis, posted to Twitter on Friday. “I’m thankful for every single thing they’ve done for me … All I ask is for everyone to keep me and the rest of my family in your prays (sic).”
Russell, the couple’s oldest son, took to Facebook to caution the public and the media from rushing to judgements.
“Please don’t make a villain of my brother… that is not who he is,” Davis posted. “Despite the circumstances, he also lost a mother and father … And I love him. Consider that!”