MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) – A disguised gunman fatally shot a Wesleyan University student at a popular bookstore near campus Wednesday before fleeing into the downtown of this central Connecticut city.

Police said Wednesday night they had a suspect but would not confirm newspaper and TV reports that he is the victim’s ex-boyfriend.

“At this point in time, we don’t have information to suggest that people should be concerned, other than the general vigilance that everyone should use on any given day,” Middletown police Lt. Margaret Liseo said after campus warnings were eased.

Police wearing camouflage and armed with assault rifles swarmed area streets with dogs as they searched for the gunman while Wesleyan officials urged students and staff to remain indoors. The gunman remained at large Wednesday night.

Police said the victim died at Middlesex Hospital. Authorities would not identify her, pending notification of her family.

Authorities found a wig used by the gunman. Liseo said they also found a gun but haven’t confirmed that it was the weapon used in the shooting.

The shooting and manhunt forced police to order hundreds of college students gathered nearby for Wesleyan’s annual Spring Fling concerts to seek refuge.

“This is really tragic,” said Darien Combs, a 20-year-old sophomore from Denver. “We went from the height of our mood where everyone was really happy the semester was over to we don’t even know what to think. We’re just processing.”

The shooting happened about 1 p.m. at the Red and Black Cafe inside Broad Street Books. Liseo wouldn’t say how many people were in the store, but several people saw the shooting and were interviewed by police.

Police officers were at the scene quickly because the station is less than two blocks away and officers were undergoing SWAT team training.

Outside the bookstore, several young women clustered outside the police line, crying. They said they were friends of the victim but would not talk to a reporter.

Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts school with about 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Founded in 1831, it was one of the first originally Methodist institutions, but separated from the church in 1937. Middletown has a population of about 48,000.


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