Fort Collins shooting: CSU student killed near campus identified as Savannah McNealy

Posted at 6:03 AM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-20 16:16:35-04

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Three people are dead, among them a Colorado State University student, after a shooting that also left another person injured early Thursday morning at the Sunstone Apartments, just northwest of campus.

The shooting happened just before 2 a.m. in the area of City Park Avenue and West Plum Street. Responding officers found four people had been shot, including a person believed to be the suspect, according to police.  

Officials also said that at least one of the victims is believed to have known the suspect. The department said one of the people killed was a student at CSU, but the three others were not affiliated with the university.

In an update posted on Twitter, Police spokesman Sgt. Dean Cunningham said the department believes the alleged shooter was among the dead. The department had said earlier in the day there was “no ongoing threat to the community.”

Colorado State University confirmed Thursday afternoon that one of its students, a woman, was among the dead, and said her next-of-kin have been notified of her death.

The university did not name the student until Thursday night, when school officials identified her as Savannah McNealy, 22, a senior who majored in Art and who would have graduated from CSU in December. 

"It is with a very heavy heart that I write to inform you that Savannah McNealy, a CSU senior, was killed last night in the shooting that occurred on City Park Avenue. A member of the student media staff and an intern on CSU’s Creative Services Team, she was well-loved and respected by those who knew her," said CSU President Tony Frank in a letter posted on CSU's website

A vigil in her honor is planned for Friday at 4 p.m. near the Ram Walk on Meridian Drive between Hughes Way and Pitkin Street. 

In the letter, Frank said McNealy was "instrumental" in the design for the Ram Walk, an orange stripe that has become part of a tradition around campus. 

CSU said it would have a team of counselors available for anyone who needs it Thursday from 2 p.m. to 8 pm. at the Lory Student Center.

Witnesses who spoke to Denver7 said they heard about 12 shots just before 2 a.m., and that a woman was screaming that a man was dead and she had been shot.

The witnesses said the incident was “very scary” and that they went inside and locked their doors when they heard the shots.

The Fort Collins Police Department says it is still investigating the shooting, and asks anyone with more information to call (970) 419-3273.