WINGATE — Wingate University was put on lockdown Monday morning after a shooting near the campus resulted in the death of a man who was broadcasting live on social media. While the lockdown was brief, the search for the shooter lasted almost 24 hours.
Students were alerted at approximately 11:35 a.m. that the campus was on lockdown, which was lifted at more than an hour later at approximately 12:53 p.m.
A man identified by the Union County Sheriff’s office as Prentis Robinson was shot and killed on Jerome Street — across the highway from the school — on Monday. Robinson captured his own murder on Facebook Live. According to Wingate Police Chief Donnie Gay, Robinson had visited the police station just before the shooting to report a stolen cell phone.
According to the Union County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas Cleveland Colson, 65, turned himself in at the County Jail around 8 a.m. Tuesday. Colson is charged with first-degree murder.
The authorities informed the school of a potential active shooter shortly after Union County 911 received reports of gun shots by one of the dorm buildings on campus. Authorities investigated and found no evidence of any shots being fired on campus.
Authorities were quick to arrive on the scene and worked with Wingate to keep students informed and safe.
No one on campus was hurt or injured, but students and staff were very shaken up.
“When I first heard about the shooter on campus, I was very frightened,” said Wingate student, Lara Thompson. “I never thought I would ever be in an active shooter, lockdown situation. Fortunately, the campus safety and Wingate Police were proactive in their communication and helped me feel at ease throughout the whole ordeal.”
Students and professors worked to follow lockdown protocols. Doors were locked and barricaded with tables and chairs and the lights were turned off. Students provided accounts of gathering classrooms corners where they held hands, prayed and texted loved ones.
WJZY 46 in Charlotte reported that Robinson had been outing people on Facebook who were suspected drug dealers in the neighborhood, and Robinson’s family confirmed he would sometimes help police find drug dealers.