Mississippi State University shooting: Student shot and killed on campus

Evans Hall is located on MSU's Starkville campus. (Photo: Google Maps)

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP/ABC7) - A student was shot to death at a Mississippi State University residence hall late Saturday night, prompting campus-wide alerts as authorities searched for suspects who fled the scene.

University spokeswoman Maridith Geuder said police received a call about the shooting at Evans Hall around 10 p.m. Saturday. The victim was taken to a hospital where he subsequently died.

The Clarion Ledger reports that the victim has been identified as John Sanderson, 21, of Madison, Miss. and that the three suspects are not students at Mississippi State.

Three male suspects fled the building in a blue Crown Victoria. As of early Sunday, no arrests had been made and the campus remained under advisory conditions on Sunday morning.

The Starkville Daily News reports that law enforcement officials are "aggressively searching" for the suspects. School administration officials enacted a "Maroon Alert" on campus, which indicated emergency conditions. The school's website said the alert continued well into the morning.

MAROON ALERT: Starkville campus.Suspects in incident at Evans Hall, three black males, fled scene in late model blue Crown Victoria.

— MS State Univ (@msstate) March 25, 2012

The school changed it's alert condition to "advisory" just after 10 a.m.

Shortly after the shooting, the university began sending a series of text message alerts to students. Geuder said a team of university officials and police was meeting early Sunday. The team is automatically convened in emergencies under a school policy.

The four-story Evans Hall holds about 300 male students and is located on the north side of campus. The campus of about 20,000 students is located in a rural area in the northeastern part of the state, about 125 miles northeast of Jackson.

The school's website says the campus is located in a low-crime area, and that emergencies are rare. The school's president, Dr. Mark Keenum, will release a statement at about 10 a.m.

A campus crime report available on the school's website paints a picture of a relatively crime-free campus, with burglary being the most common arrestable offense at the Starkville university.

ABC7's Justin Karp contributed to this report.