Keeping students safe: How police, college officials handle off campus violence

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The investigation to a deadly off-campus shooting near Coastal Carolina University is ongoing by Conway Police.

Horry County Deputy Coroner Michelle McSpadden identified the man as 20-year-old Cameron James Culp. He was pronounced dead on the scene at Cove Apartments on Highway 544.

Three people were brought into custody on Monday in connection to the incident. After the preliminary interviews were completed two of the three subjects were released and have no charges at this time.

One subject remains in custody in relation to the incident but charges have not been filed.

None of the people involved were CCU students, but due to the close proximity to the school and high number of students that live there, the campus was placed on lockdown for about an hour.

All students, both on and off campus, are part of a security alert system. When an emergency like Monday’s shooting takes place they are given advice on what to do.

It was the first time the school was placed on lockdown this school year, and for the first time sirens alarmed to notify the community to be on alert.

CCU has a full-time student population of 10,000 nearly 60% commute to campus.

There are no official relationships between the CCU force and local housing complex’s that cater to students, but campus police do patrol those areas.

Administration officials within the university also rely on partnerships with local private housing complex’s in an effort to keep them safe.

“And they have to maintain a certain amount of, I guess we would say checking the rooms and things like that, for us when we’re full with housing here at Coastal, for us to even recommend them going over there,” said Chief David Roper, with the public safety department.

Apartment communities have to apply to listed on the college’s off campus services website.

“There’s not necessarily a set criteria but they do work to make sure they’re a good fit for the campus and make sure there are not any issues or challenges that are there,” said Travis Overton, VP of Student Rights & Responsibilities/Dean of Students at CCU.

“We have an off campus website we work with a third-party vendor called off campus partners to actually meets with property’s and works to list those properties on that website,” said Overton.

Overton said the list is reviewed every semester, and the university can request apartment complexes to be removed from the site.

“If there’s been a pattern of concerns with the property or certain issues where the property is creating an environment that may not be the best environment for our students,” said Overton.

It’s something the university has done in the past three years, though Overton wouldn’t specify which property was removed.

“We work to consider from holistic stand point any of the situations that occur,” explained Overton.

That means one instance could make an impact on the listing or not.

“Its more so we look in totality of that communities impact on our students experience so we make sure it’s not adverse to the students that live there,” said Overton.

He added its something under constant review between the university and housing managers.

“To be able to be constantly talking through things that may effect both their communities and ours,” said Overton.

Overton said the next review of the off campus housing website will take place this summer.

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