‘Shooting appears to be a targeted, isolated event,’ University Police said
Texas A&M-Commerce University Police Department at 10:50 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4 released a statement identifying the two found deceased at Pride Rock residential hall.
One of the deceased was identified as 19-year-old Deja Matts of Garland, a freshman at A&M-Commerce who was pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, according to UPD.
The second was identified as 20-year-old Abbaney Matts, sister of Deja. Abbaney; she was not an enrolled student at A&M-Commerce, according to the UPD release.
The two-year-old was reported to be the son of Abbaney Matts; he was treated and released to the care of family members, UPD reported Tuesday morning.
“According to the University Police Department, the shooting appears to be a targeted, isolated event. This remains an active investigation with multiple law enforcement agencies assisting,” a TAMUC press release stated.
A woman can be heard on the posted recording telling UPD dispatchers that she arrived at her dorm room to find what appeared to be part of the ceiling falling down and a hole through the wall. She said marks across from that made it look to her like someone had shot through the wall.
The campus Monday alerted staff, faculty and students to take shelter due to an active criminal investigation at Pride Rock. All classes were canceled on campus for the remainder of the day, and have since been canceled through Feb. 5.
At 12:44 p.m., TAMUC reported UPD was “actively investigating three gunshot victims in Pride Rock Residence Hall on the A&M-Commerce campus. There have been two confirmed deaths. The third victim has been taken to the hospital for treatment. UPD has stationed officers throughout the campus, including all key gathering points, for the safety of the campus community.”
At 1:25 p.m., the shelter in place warning had been lifted, but Pride Rock and surrounding areas at TAMUC were blocked off due to the ongoing investigation. Rayburn Center was designated for any displaced students. Counselors were made available in conference rooms at the center for anyone needing help coping.
At 4 p.m., the decision was announced to cancel all classes, activities and programs (including online classes) at all TAMUC locations Monday-Wednesday, Feb. 3-5. Faculty and staff should report to work as usual on those days. Classes and campus operations are to resume on Thursday, Feb. 6. Professional counselors were made available in the Halladay Student Services building on campus or by calling 903.886.5145 for anyone who needs assistance.
In 10:03 p.m. press release, Dr. Rudin stated: “Our hearts and prayers go out to the family, friends and students impacted by today’s tragic event. During this difficult time, we encourage our Lion family – students, faculty, staff and friends – to remain supportive of each other,” Rudin stated in a release posted at 10:03 p.m. Feb. 3.
The support service offered for students and families was expanded.
Expanded services are offered for any students needing guidance or support. The Residential Living and Learning office “arranged with local community partners to provide housing for any students temporarily displaced.”
Students and families needing additional services may contact the following departments as they apply to their needs:
- UPD (903) 886-5868 and 911 for emergencies on campus
- Residential Living and Learning (903) 886-5797 – main
- Pride Rock residents — (903) 468-2597 –
- Counseling Center (903) 886-5145
Students, faculty and staff can check for updated messages from TAMUC at https://new.tamuc.edu/lionscare/