Man shot when gun accidentally discharges at University of Akron residence hall

AKRON, Ohio - One person was injured and another is in custody after what Akron police say is an accidental weapon discharge at a university residence hall early Saturday morning.

The incident happened around 12:30 a.m. at the University of Akron's Exchange Street Residence Hall, according to authorities.

The two individuals, who are not students at the university, were visiting an acquaintance at the residence hall when the gun went off, school officials said.

The 19-year-old victim was transported to a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. police said.

The 17-year-old suspect was arrested and transported to the Summit County Juvenile Center and charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, school officials said.

The school released the following statement:

The University of Akron (UA) cares deeply about our campus community, and we are steadfast in our commitment to the safety and security of our students, employees, visitors and guests. 

The University of Akron Police Department’s preliminary investigation of an incident that occurred early this morning shows that two non-University of Akron individuals were let into the Exchange Street Resident Hall late Friday evening or early Saturday morning by as-yet unidentified person(s). During a visit to a room of an acquaintance in the residence hall, there was what appears to have been an accidental discharge of a handgun, resulting in a wound to the abdomen of the victim, a 19-year-old from Bedford, Ohio. He was transported to Akron General Cleveland Clinic Hospital where he is being treated for his injury.

No one else was injured.

The suspect, a 17-year old male, also of Bedford, was taken into custody and transported to the Summit County Juvenile Center. He has been charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm. Both the police investigation and the University’s review of the incident are ongoing.

UA prohibits firearms in residence halls and requires resident students to have responsibility for the actions of any guests. This incident underscores the importance of this policy.

We understand that this situation was very concerning for many people and University representatives from the Division of Student Affairs and Residence Life and Housing have been on scene and providing support to other UA students. They also will be discussing campus safety and additional ways to improve our efforts with students in the days ahead.

We appreciate the cooperation of all parties as University officials and the University of Akron Police Department (UAPD) continue the investigation. As a community, we also encourage students to remain diligent advocates for safety.  If you have information that can assist investigators, please notify UAPD at 330-972-2911.  

Counselors will be available for students by calling 330-972-7082 or visiting Simmons Hall 306 on Monday. Students seeking immediate assistance should contact Residence Life staff who will connect them to the counselor on-call.

Editor's note: UA's statement has been modified to remove the name of the victim.

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