Manhunt under way for gunman who killed South Carolina college student

1 Mar

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) – A statewide manhunt was under way on Wednesday for a gunman who fatally shot a South Carolina university student in a dormitory and then apparently fled the campus, police said.

No motive has been revealed for the attack, which occurred just before 7:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday at an apartment-style residence that houses nearly 2,000 students on the campus of Coastal Carolina University, near Myrtle Beach.

University officials said late Tuesday that sophomore Anthony Liddell, 19, of Bennettsville, South Carolina, died following the attack.

South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry said police were searching for the suspect and hoped to release a description on Wednesday, but declined to comment further.

Liddell’s death comes amid a broad debate across a sharply divided nation over U.S. gun control laws.

In the wake of the fatal December shooting of 20 elementary school students and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut, federal and state legislators across the United States have begun debating new gun legislation.

While the Connecticut attack prompted some states, like New York, to tighten gun laws, other states including Wyoming and Alaska are considering legislation aimed at essentially nullifying broader federal gun laws within their state borders.

The U.S. Congress remains embroiled in a similarly heated debate.

Federal legislators are considering new legislation this week to expand requirements for gun buyer background checks and increase penalties for individuals who purchase guns for criminals.

On Tuesday, dozens of Newtown parents and relatives of shooting victims arrived in Washington, D.C., to launch a lobbying campaign urging lawmakers to pass a proposed federal assault weapons ban.

Tuesday also marked the first anniversary of the fatal shooting of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch captain who mistook him for a burglar.

That shooting sparked an emotional nationwide discussion about gun laws last year, which intensified after mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut.

(Additional reporting by Chris Francescani; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Maureen Bavdek)


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