James Eric Davis Jr. is the suspect in the shooting deaths of two people on Central Michigan University's campus.
The university has identified the victims as Davis' parents, James Eric Davis Sr., a part-time police officer in Bellwood, Illinois, and Diva Jeneen Davis.
James Eric Davis Jr. is listed as a sophomore in CMU’s student directory. Police are describing him as a black man, approximately 19 years old, 5-foot-10 and 135 pounds. He was last seen wearing mustard-colored jeans and a blue hoodie, according to a tweet from the City of Mt. Pleasant. He is considered armed and dangerous.
Central Michigan University police "had contact" with Davis Thursday night, and he was taken to the MidMichigan Medical Center in Mount Pleasant and released Friday morning, according to Lt. Larry Klaus of the CMU Police Department. He was seen headed north from the dorm, running along the railroad tracks, said Mount Pleasant information officer Jeff Browne.
Kendall Gilder met Davis in the fourth grade at Charles Reed Elementary School in Joliet, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
"We clicked immediately," he said. Even their teacher noticed. "He said 'I can see that you guys are going to have a long friendship.'"
His first thought when he heard that Davis was a suspect in the killings was "how we were like brothers and how we were always together, messing around, goofing around."
"James has always been a good kid," Gilder said. "This was not something that was ever to be expected and, even at this moment, I can’t bring myself to believe it."
Deantre DeYoung met Davis during their freshman year at Plainfield South High School, which Davis attended for three years before switching to Plainfield Central High School, where he graduated in 2016.
Davis "wasn’t a bad kid," DeYoung said. "He’s a smart kid. He went to school for academics. He wasn’t there to mess around."
Davis' parents "were loving and caring about him, and they were always on top of what he did school-wise," he added. "Whatever situation went down between them, it has to be more than him being a bad person because, as a family, they loved each other. I know that for certain."
Steve Lamberti, the humanities division chair at Plainfield Central and the former coach of the boy’s basketball team, said he coached Davis Jr. during his senior year.
Lamberti described Davis Jr. as a polite and quiet kid. He said Davis Jr. didn’t have a lot of playing time, but always showed up on time.
“He was a typical high school kid,” he said. “No problems at all.”
Davis Jr.'s Twitter account is full of sports videos and retweets from celebrities like Zendaya and Chance the Rapper. He's tweeted about his class schedule, planning to dye his hair and Alabama football.
Jordan Murphy and James Eric Davis, Sr. worked together for several years as recruiters in the Illinois Army National Guard.
In a Facebook post, Murphy described the Davises as "loving, ever present parents, who doted on their children."
Diva Davis, he said, had beaten stage 4 breast cancer "overcoming all odds to beat the disease."
And James Davis, Jr. "was a very respectful man, raised by upstanding parents, who would do anything to protect him and his siblings."
"This is so incredibly out of character," Murphy wrote, "something went wrong somewhere."
Here are some reactions on Twitter:
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