The image is clear and chilling. On the frame from a surveillance tape, we see a bearded man in glasses. He has receding hair and appears to be wearing dark clothing. There is also no doubt what he is holding in his hand: a gun. And police say that gun was used to kill a popular student at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, which right now is on lockdown.
The victim’s name is Johanna Justin-Junich. The 22-year-old junior was working at the Red and Black Café in Middletown Wednesday when the suspect, 29-year-old Stephen Morgan, allegedly opened fire. Detectives say Morgan used a wig as a disguise and shot Justin-Junich several times at close range before fleeing. A massive manhunt is underway to find Morgan.
News of the homicide quickly reached the campus. The university’s web site continues to provide updates on the investigation while urging students and faculty members to be vigilant.
This notice was posted Thursday morning:
“The suspect in yesterday’s fatal shooting has not been apprehended. Based on the advice of local authorities, Wesleyan instructs all students to remain in their residences. Faculty and staff should not come to their offices unless otherwise instructed. We will be sending information soon in regard to food and other administrative services. Please remain cautious.”
Michael Roth, the school’s President offered his sympathy to the family of Johanna Justin-Jinich. He also released a statement:
“A beloved member of our community has been brutally murdered. Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the family and friends of Johanna Justin-Jinich. This is a tragic time for them, and for all of us in the Wesleyan community. We are all deeply saddened and shocked by this event.”
Late this morning, Roth shared more information from the police. Here's what told the Wesleyan community:
"We have been informed by Middletown Police of new evidence about the suspect in yesterday’s shooting. Although he apparently had a direct link to the victim but no other connection to the Wesleyan community, we have now been made aware that he expressed threats in his personal journals toward Wesleyan and/or its Jewish students. All students are urged to remain vigilant and to stay indoors. Additional security has been deployed accordingly.
We will continue to work with authorities to ensure the safety of students on campus, and there will be increased patrols by Wesleyan Public Safety Officers and Middletown Police. At this time we continue to believe that the safest place for students is in their residences and we will provide additional information as it becomes available."
There are two Facebook profiles for Johanna Justin-Junich. One appears to be her personal page. It is private. But there is another one in her name. And it is to mourn and remember her. Among the messages, one offering a prayer for her family. Contact the police if you have any information on the suspect.
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