Victim killed at party near Prairie View A&M identified

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Victim killed at party near Prairie View A&M identified
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About 100 people were attending a party close to the campus of Prairie View A&M University, when police say someone opened fire.

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas (KTRK) -- A shooting at a party near the Prairie View A&M University campus leaves one student dead and the campus reeling from another loss within a matter of days.

A large party near Bledsoe and Dooley off campus ended with gunfire. As many as 20 shots were fired and the number of shooters is unclear, according to the Waller County Sheriff Glen Smith.

The gunman may have run toward campus and a DPS helicopter helped officers search but no suspects were arrested, according to the sheriff. Law enforcement has not released a suspected motive for the shooting.

Student Body President Jacolahn Dudley issued a statement acknowledging the fear on campus and identifying the student killed overnight Friday as 20-year-old Chris Chappell.

Friends gathered on campus Saturday to remember Chappell.

"He was smart. He was very goal-oriented. He was very independent. He wanted to start his own business," Kiara Rose said.

"Every time you would see him, he would have a smile on his face. He would try to make you laugh; try to make you feel good about yourself," Antonio Washington said.

"(He was) a genuinely good person. Somebody who cared about his work. He cared about his friends," Kayla Gilchrist said.

Two others were injured in the shooting but are expected to survive, according to law enforcement. Multiple agencies are investigating.

Students said this death and the killing of Tristan Houston being uncovered just hours earlier are weighing heavily on the campus.

RELATED: Suspect charged in the death of a Prairie View A&M student

"It makes me not want to be out as much. Because you never know," Rose said.

"We come here because there are people that are like us. We want to be in a place where we are safe to step off campus and for stuff like this to happen to Chris and Tristan, it's just not right," student Megan Spears said.

"This should be a wake-up call," classmate Nikia Giddings said.

Statement from Student Body President Jacolahn Dudley:

"I want you all to know that your safety is a major concern of mine and I never want anyone to feel as if they are unsafe while pursuing their academic education here at Prairie View A&M University. Although these incidents have taken place off campus, we still will be meeting with campus police to identify ways to ensure that our panthers are safe. I ask that as SpringFest week approaches you take heed to your surroundings, the individuals you surround yourselves with, and lastly the things that you choose to partake in... Student Counseling Services will be available for any students who would like to discuss the tragedies that have taken place."

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