State police in Indiana are asking for help in identifying the man who shot an IUP student early this morning during a confrontation at an off-campus apartment building.
According to police, the incident occurred shortly after 2 a.m. at 565 Maple St. in White Township.
Trooper John Matchik said the shooting may have been the climax to a road-rage incident that began shortly before at Seventh and Philadelphia streets in Indiana Borough.
Police said the victim and some friends were stopped in a vehicle at the intersection, and one got out to close a hood or hatch that had popped open. Meanwhile, the shooter, who is described as a white man in his early 20s, pulled behind and may have grown annoyed at the delay.
Horns may have been honked, police said, and words may have been exchanged.
And as a result, the shooter began following the victim’s car to the apartment building.
Matchik said the victim and the shooter both got out of their vehicles, and a confrontation ensued.
In the course of the confrontation, the shooter struck the victim’s head, causing him to stumble backward and fall down. The shooter continued assaulting the victim, and then pulled out a handgun and shot the victim in the leg.
The victim, a 20-year-old who wasn’t being identified by either police or the university this morning, was flown to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, where he was reportedly in stable condition this morning.
Matchik said the shooter fled in his vehicle, which may have been a silver Lincoln MKZ. Police said the sedan may have aluminum wheels and a sunroof and appeared to be clean.
Police said the shooter had a passenger in his car, a white man in his 20s wearing a blue sweatshirt. Police said that witness got out of the car, saw the assault take place and then ran off.
Authorities were trying to identify that man this morning. Matchik stressed that he is considered only a witness at this point.
Police said they believe the incident is isolated. Still, IUP officials issued a crime alert to students this morning, advising them to take certain precautions, such as traveling in groups and avoiding dimly lighted areas. IUP campus police are working with state police to identify the shooter, who remained at large this morning.
Matchik said the incident was recorded on surveillance cameras, and troopers are reviewing the footage.
Police have asked anyone with any information to call the barracks at (724) 357-1960.