Man reported shot likely not shot near ETSU after all; security upped on campus

Becky Campbell • Apr 24, 2012 at 9:33 AM

A shooting investigation near East Tennessee State University early Saturday morning prompted increased security on campus, according to the school.

There was a report early on in the investigation that one person was shot, but a Johnson City police official said the investigation may show there was no one hit in the incident after all.

“He had an abrasion on the back of his head. The ER did not think it was a gunshot wound,” said JCPD Lt. Steve Sherfey on Monday.

Sherfey identified the victim as Javonte Cotner, of Knoxville.

ETSU officials aren’t taking any chances and will keep the heightened security in place.

“We have increased security on campus and it will remain that way until the end of the semester,” said Joe Smith, director of university relations.

According a statement on the school’s website, “An ETSU student was grazed by a bullet during a shooting at the privately owned Campus Ridge apartments.”

The student was treated for minor injuries and released from a local hospital.

ETSU notified the campus community of the shooting via text alerts and emails around 10:40 a.m. Saturday. Heightened security on campus may mean students will be asked to provide student identification before entering certain locations, the school said.

Sherfey said there was a large crowd of people in the Campus Ridge parking lot when police arrived early Saturday morning and most were from Knoxville or Chattanooga.

Sherfey said he didn’t know why the crowd had gathered, but that investigators are in the process of questioning those people as part of the probe.

Officers also found 20 shell casings at the scene. There was also a second call to the apartment complex early Sunday morning after a man discovered his vehicle had four bullet holes in it.

Police said a white Chevrolet Tahoe, owned by Calvin Kirby, Camp LeJueune, N.C., was damaged.

The university asked people to use caution and to report any suspicious activity to ETSU Public Safety (439-4480 or 911).

Recommended for You

    Johnson City Press Videos