One student dead after South Carolina university shooting

CHARLESTON, South Carolina Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:35pm IST

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CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - A 19-year-old student died following a shooting on Tuesday at a residence hall of a South Carolina university near the resort area of Myrtle Beach, and authorities were searching for a gunman, university officials said.

Anthony Liddell, a sophomore from Bennettsville, South Carolina, died following the shooting at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, the university said in a statement.

The shooting occurred just before 7:30 p.m. at University Place, an apartment-style residence hall that is home to nearly 2,000 students.

Residence halls would remain on lockdown throughout the night, but the gunman was believed to have fled campus, school officials said. Classes will be held Wednesday, the statement said.

"The suspect fled in a vehicle. The campus is still on lockdown, although people in classrooms were allowed to go home. Those in dorms were advised to stay inside," said Mona Prufer, a university spokeswoman.

Conway police gave no information on the motive for the shooting and referred questions to state police, which did not return phone calls.

The nation remains on edge over gun violence following the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, in December, in which 20 children and six adults were shot and killed.

That rampage reignited a broad national debate over gun control and prompted President Barack Obama to push Congress to pass tighter gun restrictions.

More than 9,000 students attend Coastal Carolina University, which was founded in 1954 as Coastal Carolina Junior College and became an independent university in 1993.

Counselors and ministers will provide assistance on Wednesday to students at a campus chapel and at residence halls, the university said.

(Reporting by Cynthia Johnston, Barbara Goldberg and Corrie MacLaggan; Editing by Jackie Frank and Lisa Shumaker)

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