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By Russ Bynum
Associated Press

SAVANNAH, Ga. - Authorities searched Friday for a gunman who shot and wounded a student at Savannah State University and a SWAT team surrounded a dormitory, officials said.
University spokeswoman Loretta Heyward said she believed students were still inside the dorm at mid-afternoon because they had been alerted by university officials to stay where they were. The shooting happened between 11 a.m. and noon at the oldest public historically black college in Georgia.
Campus officials didn't know a motive or whether the shooter was a student, she said.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said the wounded student, whose name was not released, was in surgery at Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Tara Cox, a university marine biologist, said students and faculty received an alert about the shooting through an automated messaging system.
"We just locked the doors and kept the students that were in the building in the building," she said.
Colleges across the country implemented text message and e-mail warning systems after a gunman killed 32 people before shooting himself last year at Virginia Tech. Savannah State's Web site allows students to sign up for emergency notices.
Bankhead said school officials have asked the GBI to investigate and that both the suspect and the student are from the Atlanta area.
The campus of about 3,400 students along Georgia's coast was locked down immediately after the shooting. Cars could leave but not enter the campus.
Savannah State junior Charvaris Dewberry, 20, said he was in his dorm room when a friend called about the shooting. He said he tuned in to television news coverage because he says the university was providing scant information.
"We don't know anything," said Dewberry, who could see squad cars and police patrolling campus.
Dewberry said students have to sign up for a program that sends text messages to cell phones in emergencies but that he and most of his friends are not enrolled.
Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police spokesman Judy Pal confirmed the department had sent a SWAT team to the campus.

Wire Service
 
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