One arrest has been made in the shooting incident that occurred on the campus of Livingstone College and more arrests could be forthcoming.
Capt. P.J. Smith of the Salisbury Police Department announced Tuesday that Talib Latrell Kelly, 21, of Salisbury, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, discharging a firearm on educational property and possession of a firearm by felon. The alleged shooter is also a victim and remains at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte. Kelly is not a Livingstone College student.
The Salisbury Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in this ongoing investigation. Anyone with videos of the shooting incident is urged to send them to Salisbury Police. Send videos as a private message to the Salisbury Police Department’s Facebook page; email them to the Rowan Regional Crime Information Center at firstname.lastname@example.org; or call the criminal investigation division at (704) 216-5262. You do not have to reveal your identity.
Livingstone College’s 13th President Dr. Anthony J. Davis spoke at the historic press conference along with Mayor Karen Alexander. This is the first time in recent history, if ever, that Livingstone College has held a joint press conference with the Salisbury Police Department.
“I want to thank all of you who are standing with the ‘Stone – Livingstone Stone,” said Davis, naming Salisbury Mayor Alexander and the city of Salisbury, the first responders, law enforcement agencies, and Catawba President Dr. David Nelson, who had to deal with an act of violence on his campus this past December.
He also thanked the faith community, who are partnering with Livingstone to offer prayer and assist the college with mental health counseling services. Cornerstone Church, Gethsemane Missionary Baptist and Rowan-Salisbury Schools participated in Livingstone’s “Let the Healing Begin,” mental health counseling services on Tuesday.
“Six days, 23 hours, that’s the span of time when Livingstone College executed homecoming activities safely and without incident,” Davis said. “Unfortunately, we experienced what so many other communities have experienced – an act of gun violence. What was an intergenerational gathering on our campus attended by our alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of our community, was hijacked by a senseless, selfish act that robbed our students, our alumni and their families of a great homecoming experience.
“What you need to know is that many of our students came to Livingstone College to unlock their potential, unleash their power and have their purpose unveiled, have escaped and emerged from communities that are plagued with the harsh reality of gun violence. Make no mistake about it, these are the true victims. The act and images of Saturday night will be embedded in the minds of those who witnessed it in the days and weeks to come.
“Life teaches us that when faced with challenges and situations, how you get through it is how you respond to it. That is why for our students and alumni, counseling services are being made available. We are evaluating our safety measures related to public safety to ensure that we are executing our mission, events and activities as safe as possible,” Davis said.
Additionally, fall break, which is usually extended to students and the academic community, will include the entire campus community, he announced.
“In light of this unfortunate incident, the entire campus will take advantage of fall break to afford our community the space to reflect and reset, so that Monday morning, we will return to the campus renewed and ready to execute our mission,” he said.
Upon reopening on Monday, Livingstone will host Prayer at the Bear at 9 a.m., which is a new tradition under Davis’ leadership. Then at 11 a.m. on Monday, the campus will take part in a security symposium in Varick Auditorium, featuring Ronnell Higgins, associate vice president for public safety and community engagement at Yale University, and David Perry, retired past president of the international association of college law enforcement administrators, the leading authority in campus public safety in the world.
“Livingstone College is committed to getting it right,” Davis said.
Watch the press conference:
About Livingstone College
Livingstone College is a private historically black college that is secured by a strong commitment to quality instruction, academic excellence and student success. Through a Christian-based environment suitable for holistic learning, Livingstone provides excellent business, liberal arts, STEAM, teacher education and workforce development programs for students from all ethnic backgrounds designed to promote lifelong learning, and to develop student potential for leadership and service to a global community. For more information, visit www.livingstone.edu.