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Loh: UMD Wasn't Aware of Shooter's Mental Illness

'It's really hard for me to even believe that this has happened,' said a professor who worked with the gunman.

By Krystal Nancoo-Russell, Rashee Raj Kumar, and Angela Wong
Capital News Service

A University of Maryland graduate student who had an unspecified mental illness shot two of his roommates early Tuesday at their house in College Park, killing one and wounding the other before killing himself, police said.

Prince George’s County Police identified the shooter as Dayvon Maurice Green, 23, a top University of Maryland engineering graduate student who had interned with NASA as an undergraduate at Morgan State University in Baltimore.  

Police said Green used a 9mm handgun to shoot and kill one roommate, Stephen Alex Rane, 22, an undergraduate from Silver Spring, and shoot and wound the other, a 22-year-old undergraduate whose name was not released. The surviving victim was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

Rane was a senior majoring in English and linguistics, according to an article he wrote for The Diamondback, the campus newspaper.   

First fire, then gunfire

The shooting happened shortly before 1 a.m. Tuesday after Green lit several fires in the basement and backyard of the house in the 8700 block of 36th Avenue, which sits just across University Boulevard from the university.  

Shortly after the two roommates approached him about extinguishing the fires, Green pulled out the handgun from his waistband and shot both of them, police said. Green then went to the backyard and shot himself, police said.  

Prince George’s County Police spokeswoman Julie Parker said there were six people living in the house until last week, when one moved out. She said that Green, Rane and the other victim were the only ones at home during the shooting.

In addition to the handgun, police said they found a black bag containing a fully-loaded, semi-automatic Uzi, several rounds of ammunition, a machete and a baseball bat next to Green’s body.

Police said Green legally purchased the 9mm handgun last year and legally purchased the .22 caliber, semi-automatic “UZI B” rifle in January at a gun store in Silver Spring.

Shooter suffered from mental illness

Parker said that Green’s family told police that he had been suffering from an unspecified mental illness for at least a year and had been prescribed unspecified medication for that condition. Green did not leave a suicide note.

Green was not treated for mental illness at the university, University of Maryland president Wallace Loh said in a statement late Tuesday, adding that the university was not “aware of his condition.”

At a press conference outside the house earlier in the day, Loh said the university had recently “significantly increased the number of psychologists and other mental health professionals to advise and counsel our students.”

He added: “This is a great tragedy for the University of Maryland's entire community and our thoughts and our prayers are with the victims and their loved ones,” Loh said at the press conference.

Loh said he thought Green had been studying engineering at the university for about a year. “The little I know suggests that he was a stellar student,” he said.

'A very decent gentleman'

Faculty and students who had worked closely with Green confirmed Loh’s description, adding that they were shocked by the shooting.   

Green was a summer intern at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in 2010, according to the agency’s website, where his research interests included “the reliability of robotic satellite servicing missions for commercial and military communications spacecraft.”

He was one of nine interns at Goddard named a John Mather Nobel Scholar, winning a travel grant of $3,000, according to the National Space Grant Foundation.

In 2009, he was a summer research intern at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, as part of the NASA affiliated Maryland Space Grant Consortium.   

That summer, he gave a presentation on a prototype of a remote controlled system to monitor water quality data.

Abhijit Nagchaudhuri, a professor in the Department of Engineering and Aviation Sciences at University of Maryland Eastern Shore who worked with Green, called him “a very decent gentleman.”

“It's really hard for me to even believe that this has happened,” he said.

Xavier Henry, a doctoral student at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore who oversaw Green’s research projects during the internship, called Green smart, funny and sociable.  

“Hearing what happened and some of the details, it just sounds so out of character,” Henry said. “We hung out; I took him and some of the other guys fishing sometimes...He was a cool guy."

Madhumi Mitra, an associate professor in the Department of Natural Science at University of Maryland Eastern Shore who also worked with Green, said everyone was happy with his work.

“I have never seen any streaks of unusual behavior from him. He worked with a team and everyone was happy with his work,” she said.

Capital News Service Reporters Hannah Anderson and Eric Morrow contributed to this report. 

Michael B. Cron February 13, 2013 at 04:49 AM
I truly believe that in cases like this, any student with documented mental instability should be disclosed at time of enrollment in any school of higher learning to the proper administrators so that appropriate measures can be taken to protect that student along with the remainder of the student population that has interaction with that student. This was a sad and senseless event. I do hope that some State or Federal legislation will come out of this tragedy so as to protect innocent people from this type of violence in the future.

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