Chief describes 'unbelievable' accidental shooting on college campus

By  | 

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013

DENMARK, S.C. (WRDW) -- At Voorhees College in Denmark, things are back to normal, but just days ago, police swarmed a gym on campus for a reported shooting.

"It was strange," says Denmark Police Chief Leroy Grimes. "It was totally just something that's kind of unbelievable. Something you might read about or see in a movie."

Chief Grimes is still shocked by what he's calling a freak accident. He says 20-year-old Erion Black was shooting hoops Monday. He went up for a shot, but when landed, the school says a gun fell from his pocket, hit the hard-wood court, and fired. An incident report says the stray bullet hit a nearby student, 21-year-old Jasmine Parker-Gant, in the chest.

"We made contact with the parents, and they actually turned the subject in the next day," says Grimes

Chief Grimes says the suspect will be charged with having a gun on campus. In a statement, Voorhees President Dr. Cleveland Sellers responded to the accidental shooting: "We have a zero-tolerance policy for guns and weapons. There are severe consequences if weapons are found on our students."

Right next door, Denmark Technical College has had two shootings and a stabbing in recent years. In an investigation earlier this year, News 12 heard from several Denmark Tech students who were concerned about guns on campus.

At Voorhees, Grimes says things are normally quiet, but guns on campus aren't uncommon.

"For some ungodly reason, they're there," says Grimes. "We have guns out there -- subjects have guns bigger than law enforcement, so it is very concerning for my department and the school campus."

The victim, Parker-Gant, has been released from an Orangeburg hospital. Grimes says she's doing well.