July 05, 2023

Dear Cardinal Family, 

I wanted to provide you with an update on the tragic incident that occurred on our campus this morning. 

At approximately 8 a.m. EDT today, two men walked from Michigan Avenue, NE – which is on our southern boundary – onto our campus. The two men got into an altercation during which one man then shot the other man in the plaza in front of Father O’Connell Hall. The suspect then fled on foot from campus. 

As was stated earlier, police believe that the suspect and victim knew each other. The campus community was not in danger, and classes and activities continued as scheduled. 

Emergency services were called to the scene where they, along with members of the University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS), rendered first aid, but the victim later succumbed to his wound at a local hospital. The victim has been identified as 25-year-old Maxwell Emerson of Crestwood, Kentucky.

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), with assistance from our DPS, is continuing its investigation, and we will update the community as more details emerge. A suspect has not yet been identified. 

While we thank God no campus community members were hurt in this incident, we pray for the individual who senselessly lost his life. Every human life is made in the image and likeness of God, and we pray for the end of such violence and to help build up a culture that treasures all life.

With this in mind, Campus Ministry will lead a brief prayer service tomorrow, Thursday, July 6 at 11:30 a.m. in front of O’Connell Hall. During the noon Mass held today at Maloney Hall, Father Aquinas Guilbeau also prayed for the repose of the soul of the person who died this morning.

We are a safe campus but we are not immune from the impacts of violence. I can assure you that we are vigilant and prepared to reduce our vulnerability to violence and to keep our community as safe as possible. 

I also want to remind you that counseling resources are available. Campus Ministry, the Counseling Center, and the Office of the Dean of Students are available to support members of the University community.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to our Department of Public Safety and the Metropolitan Police Department. Along with other members of the University staff, they handled the situation calmly and skillfully. 

At the bottom of this email, I am sharing information provided by the Department of Public Safety. Also, please know that all students are automatically enrolled in the CUAlert system, and they can add alternative contact numbers/emails for a parent within their account settings. For more information, please click here.

Should you have additional questions or want to contact me please feel free to contact me here.


Peter Kilpatrick, President

Safety Tips:   

  • Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or leave.  
  • If you are approached, take note of the person’s appearance, clothing, and anything unusual that will help you identify the suspect.

General Tips:

  • Report any suspicious individuals to the Department of Public Safety.
  • Call 9-1-1 to report crimes that occur away from campus.
  • Do not confront or engage any suspicious people.
  • Download Rave Guardian and turn your cell phone into a personal safety tool.