The campus community is mourning the loss of Johanna Justin-Jinich ’10, who was fatally shot around 1:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon in Red and Black Café, located on the corner of William Street and Broad Street. Justin-Jinich, of Fort Collins, Colorado, had been working at the Café when Stephen Morgan, the suspect now identified as the alleged gunman in Wednesday’s shooting, approached the victim and shot her multiple times.
“It is with deep sorrow that I write to inform you that Johanna Justin-Jinich ’10 was killed by a gunman this afternoon at her job at Red and Black Café,” President Michael Roth wrote in an all-campus e-mail Wednesday night. “This is a devastating loss for Johanna’s family, friends, and for the entire Wesleyan Community.”
An all-campus e-mail sent out at 10:09 p.m. on Wednesday night identified Stephen Morgan as the alleged gunman in the shooting. Although The Hartford Courant reported that Morgan is 29 years old, Public Safety would not confirm his age. The University has released two photos of Morgan, one of which had been taken from a security camera located inside of Broad Street Books. Morgan is seen holding a gun in his right hand.
No further details of this man or whether he had any relationship to the victim have been released. Morgan currently remains at-large, and students have been advised to stay indoors and to report any suspicious activities to the Middletown Police Department (MPD). According to the e-mail, additional information will be released Thursday morning.
This information followed an earlier e-mail from President Michael Roth that reassured the campus community that the perpetrator of the shooting most likely was no longer on the Wesleyan campus. According to the e-mail sent at 5:02 p.m., Roth had been advised by the MPD that students could “return to their normal routines.”
Less than two hours later, an urgent security update was sent out to the campus community, first by text message at 6:50 p.m., followed by e-mail and a recorded voice message. According to the all-campus e-mail sent at 6:54 p.m., Vice President of Student Affairs Mike Whaley advised students to avoid large gatherings and to return to their residences for the rest of the evening. This change in security was based on new information that the administration had received by MPD. Students had planned on holding a vigil for Justin-Jinich, but the campus-wide e-mail advised against such gatherings.
At 7:10 p.m., an all-campus e-mail from Public Safety notified the community that based on “additional information found processing the crime scene, we would recommend Wesleyan students and Middletown residents remain vigilant.” According to the e-mail, the suspect is still at-large and “considered armed and dangerous.” This update caught many students by surprise—the University’s 5:02 p.m. e-mail had led many students to assume that the suspect had been caught and detained, and students could be seen roaming around campus shortly thereafter. Currently, students and the Wesleyan community are advised to remain indoors as the investigation proceeds, and to report any suspicious activities to the MPD.