Man accused of shooting KSU student facing murder charge

A Kennesaw State University student was shot and killed Saturday afternoon.

Credit: David Aaro /

Credit: David Aaro /

A Kennesaw State University student was shot and killed Saturday afternoon.

A man is facing a murder charge after a Kennesaw State University student was shot to death during a dispute on campus Saturday, officials said.

Samuel Harris, 21, fled campus after he allegedly shot Alasia Franklin with a handgun in front of the Austin Residence Complex on the south side of the KSU grounds, according to an arrest warrant obtained Sunday. The suspect, who is not a student, was arrested by Cobb County police and is facing charges of murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, officials said.

“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the victim’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time,” KSU President Kathy Schwaig said in a statement.

Student Anthony Harrison told Channel 2 Action News that he heard the gunfire Saturday and ran to help Franklin.

“I see a body laying down, and I get on the phone with the police. You know, that was my first instinct,” he said. “She was someone that I knew.”

“I can’t express how much I feel sorry that you guys lost her,” Harrison said, speaking to Franklin’s family. “I mean, I wish I could have done more to help.”

Another friend, Taliyah Smith, told the news station that the 21-year-old from Cairo was close to her family.

“She talked about them all the time,” Smith said. “I will never forget the mark that she made; it was a blessing to even get to know her.”

On Sunday, students were still reeling and seeking answers. It was a quiet and cloudy morning at KSU, not even 24 hours after the gunfire. Franklin was a junior who also served on the homecoming court, according to her LinkedIn page.

Samuel Harris fled the KSU campus after he allegedly shot a woman in front of the Austin Residence Complex, police said.

Credit: David Aaro /

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Credit: David Aaro /

Trevor Morgan had just finished his freshman year and was at work Saturday when he received a text and voicemail on his phone that someone had been shot, he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

An armed intruder was reported at the university around 4 p.m., sending the campus into lockdown for just less than an hour. A red Camry was reported leaving the scene of the shooting, a Cobb police report stated.

But for Morgan, it was something he had already experienced during his short time at the university. Just four months ago, he became trapped in the lunchroom during another lockdown on campus after three people robbed an Uber driver’s vehicle and drove it there.

“I still have to go to school,” he said. “You can’t really do anything about it.”

Situated in a patrol vehicle near the department of public safety building Sunday was a KSU police officer, who declined to release more information.

In a social media post, KSU said it is offering counseling resources at its campuses for those in need Monday through Friday.

The shooting led to a brief closure of stores, including a coffee shop across campus, where employees went about their Sunday morning grabbing drinks and pastries for tired patrons. It was business as usual, though some workers and customers remarked how they were shocked and saddened about what had happened just hours earlier.

At a nearby table sat Katya Klimov, a recent graduate who hadn’t heard about the gunfire until she entered the shop. She lives about eight minutes from campus, where she attended classes from 2019-2023, and was busy typing away on a laptop.

“It’s horrible, but unfortunately (I’m) not too surprised, because it’s been happening so much,” she said, citing the recent carjacking and other robberies during her time there.

The criminal justice major said she usually felt safe on campus but made sure to never go out at night. She was shocked to learn the shooting happened in the afternoon. “Oh, my God,” she said.

“I really hope they implement better rules on campus to keep the people safe,” Klimov added. “But I mean, you never know. It can happen literally anywhere, unfortunately.”

During the quiet morning on campus, most students were still asleep inside their dorms and apartments, or away with family over the summer. A few young people were seen going on runs, while an employee at a nearby Waffle House discussed the shooting and remarked how they expected the restaurant would get busy later in the day.

Many still had questions about what happened, including Morgan, who moved to Atlanta from the North Georgia mountains. After the shooting, he said the school also gave him a call and left between three to four voice messages, but he hadn’t heard anything since. Officials encouraged students to use the LiveSafe app that connects them with university police.

Police have not shared a motive in the shooting, or the relationship between the suspect and victim. University police said they are working with the GBI during the investigation. Harris, who is also from Cairo, is being held without bond, according to online records.

Several Kennesaw State University police patrol vehicles are seen in the university's department of public safety parking lot Sunday morning.

Credit: David Aaro /

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Credit: David Aaro /

The student is at least the second to be killed on a Georgia college campus this year. In February, nursing student Laken Riley was killed near the University of Georgia’s intramural fields. A 26-year-old man, Jose Antonio Ibarra, was recently indicted on charges including murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault with intent to rape and kidnapping. Ibara is due to enter pleas to 10 counts during an arraignment hearing in Athens on May 31.

On Sunday, while at a gas station near campus, Morgan admitted he tries not to worry about violence in general or at KSU — a trait he acquired growing up away from a big city.

“Maybe I should, though,” he admitted.