At 5:09 p.m. July 26, Mississippi State University students, faculty and staff were notified via Maroon Alert of a stabbing in the Colvard Student Union. The MSU Police Department promptly responded to the scene and closed the Union until 7 a.m. the next morning for further investigation.
According to an MSU press release issued the night of the incident, both people involved were male custodial workers, leading the event to be regarded as an "isolated workplace dispute." An arrest warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon was issued for Jessie Michael McGee Jr., 28, of Starkville, who turned himself in the evening of July 27. The victim’s identity was subsequently released as Jessie Morgan Hill, 31, of Starkville.
According to Sid Salter, MSU’s chief communications officer, Hill’s injuries were not fatal, and he was transported to Oktibbeha County Hospital. There, he was reported to be in serious, but stable, condition. Hill was later transferred to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.
In the university’s press release, MSU President Mark Keenum expressed his appreciation of the qualified manner in which the MSU PD and Division of Student Affairs handled the incident.
"Workplace violence is not something we’ve often encountered on this campus, but it’s a daily reality in the private sector and in public institutions, and that’s why we anticipate such incidents and train our faculty, staff and students to effectively cope with matters like this if they arise,” Keenum said.
Salter agreed, praising the police department and faculty for their responses.
"Within an hour, we had a very timely Maroon Alert that was measured and didn’t create panic. Through the police department, we helped the injured employee get where he needed to be for medical attention, and got a closure of the Maroon Alert announcement within the hour, telling people that the incident had been handled,” Salter said.
Salter stressed the university’s dedication to keeping its faculty, students and staff safe, and informed of any danger.
"As always, the university strives to give our faculty, students and staff as much notice as possible of the danger that might exist to them, and we try to clear it up as soon as we can, when we get more of the facts and can tell them that it’s all clear,” Salter said.