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Shots fired on UT Martin campus

Updated: Mar 11

Last Updated on November 21, 2023, at 4:30 pm

Thursday afternoon UT Martin Campus Safety and Martin Police Department notified students of shots being fired on campus near the residential halls and asked the campus to shelter in place.

In an email sent out this morning, the Dean of Students, John Abel, notified students that there would be staff from Student Health and Counseling will be on hand to talk with students. Today, Friday, November 17, from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm in University Center Room 206ABC, Student Health and Counseling will host a relaxation room to provide a space for students to gather and find support. A counselor from Student Health and Counseling will be available in room 206ABC from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm.

"The emergency incident last night was traumatic for many of us. While we experienced some tense moments, we are thankful this morning that no one was injured. Thank you for cooperating with shelter-in-place instructions and reporting information to law enforcement," Abel stated in the email.

The timeline of November 16:

Just before 8:30 pm- Students report hearing gunshots near University Village Phase 1, now named Pryor Place. Those gathered on campus for events are unaware.

8:36 pm- Students receive a RAVE Alert text notifying students that UTM Campus Safety and Martin PD are investigating reports of shots being fired "around University Village or Cooper Hall" and asking everyone to stay where they are.

During this time, social media is running rampant. Specifically on YikYak, an anonymous message board app geared toward college campuses, students started asking for updates, details and began sharing memes.

UT Martin social media reactions from YikYak:

9:26 pm- An update is sent out notifying students that there is not an active shooter situation and there are no known injuries. The text also asked students to continue to shelter in place while the authorities investigate.

For students who live on campus, many were still locked in or out of their rooms. Residents of Cooper Hall could enter with a police escort. Those in UV 1 were asked to remain in their rooms, aside from those in building B who were questioned by police.

12:20 am- University of Tennessee at Martin students finally receive a notification just after midnight alerting them that there is no threat at the current time. It also alerted students that the campus would operate on a normal schedule on Friday (11/17).

12:24 am- The last text came through to let students know that counseling staff would be available on November 11 to assist students. Information about this resource is stated at the beginning of this article.

Update from Mon, Nov 20, 8:11 pm- According to an email sent to the campus from UT Martin Director of Public Safety, Michael O’Neill, the investigation is ongoing in conjunction with the Martin Police Department. He goes on to say that no one was injured and the incident appears to have stemmed from a dispute between individuals known to each other, but there is no further threat to the campus.

The email goes on to state, "A number of family members have expressed an interest in receiving UTM public safety alerts. All registered students are automatically enrolled in the RAVE Alert system. Students may add a family member in the alert system through their RAVE account by going to and logging in with their UTM credentials."

Anyone with further information about the incident is asked to call the UTM Department of Public Safety at 731-881-7777, the Martin Police Department at 731-587-5355, or Weakley County Crime Stoppers at 731-587-2611.

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