The shooting was reported at 10:43 a.m. Friday when the university was expecting parents to arrive on campus to pick students up for the beginning of spring break.
Two people were found dead inside the school’s Campbell Hall, prompting a campus lockdown.
Campus officials are working with nearby police departments and state law enforcement as they search for James Eric Davis Jr., who was described as “armed and dangerous.”
Officers were conducting door-to-door checks in the area surrounding the university until dark to search for the suspect, officials said.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are also assisting authorities.
At a press conference, Lt. Larry Klaus of the Central Michigan Police Department said there didn’t appear to be any danger to students or staff, but that everyone on the campus was being asked to “shelter in place.”
“We believe the situation involves a domestic-type incident,” Klaus said.
Emanuel Chris Welch, a representative in the Illinois legislature, identified Davis Sr. as an officer of the Bellwood Police Department.
According to public records, the parent’s lived in Plainfield, Illinois, more than four hours from Central Michigan University.
It’s unclear what may have prompted the shooting, authorities said, but Klaus said campus police had contact with Davis Jr. Thursday night for a drug-related incident.
Davis Jr., Klaus said, had some sort of “overdose or bad reaction to drugs” and was hospitalized.
“[He] definitely didn’t want to be the center of attention in a group of people, but he never had any behaviors that seemed odd or that would make me think that he would be involved in a situation like this,” Caleb Kleinman told the paper. “Once we saw [Davis Jr.’s] name come up on the TV screen from the news channel we were watching, we were all very shocked.”