Carlisle Police Department (CPD) was called to the 200 block of College Street on Sunday, Nov. 12, after gunshots were reported. Police discovered 35-year-old Rhyhiem Hodge inside, dead of an apparent gunshot wound, no student was hurt during the shooting.
The Sentinel reported that Christopher Williams, 25, has been arrested as a suspect in the case, and that bail was denied. Williams is charged with numerous felonies relating to the event, and is currently being held in Cumberland County Prison. The article further reported that Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed said his office believed Williams had gained access to the house under the pretext of purchasing marijuana and that his intention was to rob the house after the purchase.
Students were notified of the shooting via a Red Alert from Dickinson’s Public Safety (DPS) 3:40 p.m. on Sunday stating “There has been a shooting near campus in the area of 161 North College Street. Avoid the area until further notice.”
The suspect initially escaped the police. CPD stated, that the suspect had fled the area, and that the vicinity was safe, a sentiment echoed by Associate Dean of Students Angie Harris in an email, sent at 7:52 p.m., to students living in off campus housing near the incident stating “the police have said they do not believe there is any ongoing threat to the public.”
Students in the area, however, seemed to be unaware that a shooting had occurred. Linh Nguyen, ’20, who lives one block from where the shooting occurred, says that “I did not hear gun shots. I was inside my house that afternoon.”
Grant Shearer, ’19, who also lives in the area also explains, “I became aware from a friend who lives in the KE [Kappa Sigma] house then I checked my email for more info. It was an unfortunate occurrence, but with DPS and CPD, no one in our house felt unsafe.”
For those who felt unsafe in the area, ResLife offered alternative accommodations. In a separate email to Nguyen, Harris said, “If you are feeling uncomfortable and do not have any place to stay, please let me know. We will try to find you a space on campus.” Nguyen decided to remain in her house for the night.
Ian Doyle ’18, who lives in the area, on the other hand says he did not feel informed by the email alerts sent by the school, however states that Carlisle police were on the scene less than a minute after he heard the shots.
Dean and Vice President of Student Life Joyce Bylander also sent out an email to students on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 3:50 p.m. stating students should “avoid the area” and that “the shooting does not involve any member of the Dickinson community. The Carlisle Police Department is on the scene and is investigating. Officers from the Department of Public Safety are also monitoring the situation.”
Williams was apprehended by officers when blood found on the sidewalk outside the home was matched with blood taken at UPMC hospital in Harrisburg, where Williams entered with a stab wound to his leg.
Per the Carlisle Police Department website, students can sign up to receive crime alerts directly from the Carlisle police at www.carlislepa.org.