Man shoots woman, then himself
By J. PATRICK PEPPER
UPDATED: DEARBORN — Tragedy struck the campus of Henry Ford Community College on Good Friday when a gunman shot and killed a woman before turning the gun on himself.
Police identified the victim as Asia McGowan, 20, of Ecorse, a member of the HFCC theater program, and the shooter as Anthony Powell, 28, of Detroit. Several students congregating near the crime scene said they didn’t believe the gunman was a student at the college.
Police were dispatched to the campus about 12:30 p.m. on reports of an assault at the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center, police said. While en route, police received another call indicating shots had been fired.
After securing the perimeter, an entry team went in through a hallway in the south of the building when gunshots were heard, police said. A scramble to find the source ended in room F-111, a 16- to 20-person classroom used to teach theater and music appreciation, where both bodies and what preliminarily is being called a shotgun were discovered.
Brian Tarasiewicz, a theater instructor, said he was pulling into the building’s parking lot as students evacuated.
“There was banging on the back door, and then everyone evacuated across the street to the University of Michigan-Dearborn parking lot,” Tarasiewicz said.
As soon as college officials determined there was a shooting, notifications were sent out through the school’s emergency alert system, and the campus was locked down, said Marjorie Swan, HFCC vice president of business and controller.
The alerts were sent via text, e-mail, land line and cell phone calls. Swan said the alert system is a voluntary program, and not all students received the message.
At 2 p.m., campus officials lifted the lockdown, sent students home and closed the college for the remainder of the day. It was unknown at press time whether it would remain closed or when it would be reopened.
Swan said counseling would be made available for students.
Brighton said investigators from Dearborn and state police pulled aside several potential witnesses to begin piecing together accounts of the incident.