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Student government president 'simply a victim'

Student government president 'simply a victim'

December 13th, 2018 by News Tribune in Local News

D'Angelo Bratton-Bland, center, Student Government Association president, helps Nadaniel Johnson move into Dawson Hall on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018, at Lincoln University for the start of the new school year.

Photo by Mark Wilson /News Tribune.

He was simply a victim.

D'Angelo Bratton-Bland, the 23-year-old president of Lincoln University's Student Government Association, did nothing to contribute to his fatal shooting Tuesday night, Jefferson City Police Department spokesman Lt. David Williams said Wednesday.

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According to police reports, officers were called to a weapons offense at 9:26 p.m. in the 200 block of Dawson Street, which is about 1 miles northeast of the LU campus.

As officers were responding to the scene, a gray Cadillac was seen traveling at a high rate of speed on East McCarty Street. Officers stopped the vehicle at U.S. 50/63 and Monroe Street.

Inside the vehicle, officers found four men, one of which was Bratton-Bland who had suffered a gunshot wound.

Bratton-Bland was first taken to Capital Region Medical Center and then to University Hospital in Columbia, where he died.

All three occupants in the vehicle Bratton-Bland occupied were interviewed and have cooperated with investigators, police said.

"There had not been any disturbance calls or any calls for us in that area prior to us getting the call to go to this weapons offense," Williams said.

Williams also said they did recover several shell casings at the scene of the shooting.

Authorities are asking anyone who might have information that can help with the investigation, contact them at the police department, 634-6400, or anonymously through CrimeStoppers at 659-TIPS (659-8477).

Meanwhile, Lincoln officials said they are talking with their students about their safety off-campus.

"It's one of the things we'll be emphasizing as we begin the second semester of classes in January and especially if you are in walking distance of the main campus," Marcus Chanay, Lincoln's vice president for Student Affairs, said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference in the school's board room. "We have a number of students who live in nearby housing so, along with the Lincoln Police Department, we'll give more talks about safety."

Chanay said Bratton-Bland's death took everyone off guard.

He also emphasized Lincoln is a safe campus for students, but students always need to remember to be aware of their surroundings.

LU President Jerald Jones Woolfolk told reporters the Lincoln Police Department "does an excellent job in teaching safety education to students, and we have seen incidents on our campus decrease markedly over the last several months."

LU Police Chief Gary Hill added: "By keeping the campus safe, we're not just keeping Lincoln University safe, but we're keeping Jefferson City safe.

"We share information with our law enforcement partners in the community and that helps everybody. There's nothing going on at our campus that isn't going on at other campuses across the country," he said. "We have to keep telling our students to be vigilant about your own safety. No one's going to be more there for you than keeping yourself safe."

Chanay noted Bratton-Bland was killed during finals week, "and one of the things President Woolfolk asked faculty to take into consideration was how this event has affected students. They still have to take finals, but we've asked faculty to work with students as much as possible in the wake of D'Angelo's death."

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

Jefferson City police are investigating a shooting that occurred Tuesday night on the city's east side which led to the death of a Lincoln University student.

According to police reports, at approximately 9:26 p.m., officers were called out to a weapons offense in the 200 block of Dawson Street. As officers were responding to the scene, a gray Cadillac was seen traveling at high speed on East McCarty Street. Officers stopped the vehicle at U.S. 50 and Monroe Street. Inside the vehicle, officers found four men, one of which had suffered a gunshot wound.

The gunshot victim was first taken to Capital Region Medical Center, and then University Hospital in Columbia where he later died.

Authorities identified the victim as 23-year-old D'Angelo Bratton-Bland, a graduating senior from Chicago who was serving as president of the Student Government Association and earning a degreeĀ in elementary and special education.

All three occupants in the vehicle were interviewed and are cooperating with investigators, according to police officials.

University officials report a public candlelight vigil memorializing Bratton-Bland is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. today in the ballroom at Scruggs University Center on campus.

The university also announced it will be offering counseling services in the Student Health Center from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Counseling is also available to students via phone at (573) 681-5164 or (573) 681-5970.

Anyone with information regarding the investigation is asked to contact the Jefferson City Police Department at 573-634-6400 or anonymously through CrimeStoppers at 573-659-TIPS (659-8477).


Updates with further details