In the morning hours of Friday, March 2, 2018, sophomore James Eric Davis Jr., 19, opened fire on his parents at his fourth-floor dorm room at Central Michigan University. James Davis Sr., 48, and Diva Davis, 47, were found dead inside the Towers residence hall Friday morning with no indication of what had transpired to lead to the shooting.
After killing his parents, Davis Jr. fled the scene of the crime and, as of late afternoon on Friday, was still not in police custody. Central Michigan University and businesses in Mount Pleasant remained on lockdown while a manhunt for the killer continued.
Here’s what we know about the shooter:
Those That Knew Him Are in Shock
It’s not uncommon for the perpetrator of such a killing gives off occasional clues or be known for a violent history. Those that seemed to know James Eric Davis Jr. are indicating quite the opposite and are quick to attest to his kind-hearted and quiet personality. After police identified Davis Jr. as the suspect in the death of his parents, friends took to Twitter in disbelief.
Me & this dude literally hooped together, just talked to him on the phone the other day. That just goes to show you really never know what people are going through on the inside. This really hit home.
— Michael (@MikeHoodMadeIt) March 2, 2018
Twitter user @MikeHoodMadeIt claimed to have just interacted with Davis in the days leading up to the event, stating “[Y]ou never really know what people are going through on the inside.” One of Davis’ neighbors, Myles Turn (@Swaggym_33), took to the social media platform with a video message (seen below) about the shooter’s personality.
— Myles Turner (@swaggym_33) March 2, 2018
His Social Media Gave No Indication of Hardships
James Davis Jr’s. Twitter account was active until Feb. 19, 2018, but leading up to the shooting on the morning of March 2, there was nothing to indicate he was suffering from drug or mental health problems. There was also no signs that he was having relationship issues with his parents.
Much of his Twitter page is speckled with posts about college and professional basketball. While attending Plainfield Central High, Davis Jr. joined the local basketball team.
He Had an Alleged Connection with Drugs
According to local law enforcement, Central Michigan University police had contact with him on Thursday evening. The Chicago native had been admitted to McLaren Central Michigan hospital in Mount Pleasant after police picked him up on a drug-related incident. There has been no confirmation whether it was an overdose or not, but Davis Jr. was released in the early morning hours of Friday and returned to campus.
His Father was a Chicago Police Officer
One of the victims, Davis’ father, worked as a part-time police officer with the Bellwood, IL Police Department. At the time of this posting, there has been no confirmation that the firearm used belonged to James Davis Sr. The Bellwood officer was known in the Chicago and Jefferson areas for his contributions to the community.
Davis Sr. and Diva Davis were believed to be picking up their son as Friday was the start of Central Michigan University’s Spring Break.