Suspect in Paine College shooting from DeKalb

Credit: Courtesy of WJBF

Credit: Courtesy of WJBF

A man apprehended after a shooting on an Augusta college campus is from metro Atlanta.

Xavier Deanthony Cooper, a 20-year-old sophomore business major from DeKalb County, was taken into custody after authorities found him in a dorm at Paine College, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said.

According to WRDW-TV, he was booked into the Richmond County Jail about 11 p.m. Monday, about 10 hours after the shooting that left 21-year-old JaJuan Baker of Wilmington, N.C., with life-threatening injuries. Cooper is being held at the jail on several charges, including aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm on school building, grounds or function, online jail records show.

Investigators believe the shooting was the result of an altercation between two students. Tuesday, they said they believed Monday’s shooting was related to another shooting Sunday on the Paine College campus.

The latest incident temporarily caused lockdowns at both Paine College and nearby Georgia Regents University, the site of the Medical College of Georgia, according to police. Both colleges were on lockdown for several hours this afternoon due to an active shooter on the Paine campus, the college said.

“This is an active shooter situation and we are barricaded in the office,” a college spokesperson told Channel 2 Action News around 2 p.m. Monday.

Monday’s shooting took place around 1 p.m, Sgt. Mike McDaniel with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said. Baker was taken to the Regents University hospital for treatment, police said. He was in critical condition Tuesday. No other students were injured.

Police are still searching for two men who fired shots at a Paine College men’s residence hall Sunday, injuring a 20-year-old student. The student, whose name was not released, was injured by debris from a blast through the wall, police said.

Liquta Mains Grier of Hampton told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution she was shocked when her son told her Sunday about shots being fired outside his dorm.

“I’ve been checking up on him all night,” Grier said.

Her son, a freshman, went to class Monday morning, Grier said. But after hearing gunfire, he quickly went back to his dorm room.

“Once he got to the dorm, they won’t let him out to go anywhere or let anyone in,” Grier said.

Grier said she’s particularly concerned because her son’s dorm does not have locking doors.

“Anybody can come in and out,” Grier said. “Anybody has access.”

In response to the shootings, additional deputies were on the Paine College campus Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office will be augmenting the Paine College Police to provide additional safety and security at Paine College until further notice,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

The college had scheduled a prayer vigil for noon Tuesday in the Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel, but postponed it until a later date.

Paine College is a historically black college with about 800 students. It is located about two hours east of Atlanta.