On the campus at Goldey Beacom -- makes me rather leary to be working at a college.


Argument on campus leads to shots fired
High-speed chase interrupts investigation
By TERRI SANGINITI, The News Journal

PostedSaturday, September 8, 2007[/url] Timothy S. Smith is charged with firing a gun at two men.

Delaware State Police Capt. Robert Coupe (left) and Det. Bill Chapman look for shell casings.

A shooting investigation at Goldey-Beacom College on Friday was interrupted by a bizarre high-speed chase through the crime scene that began with a Delaware State Police trooper narrowly escaping being run down and ended when the suspect crashed into a parked motorcycle nearby.

No injuries were reported from the car chase.

There were also no injuries stemming from the early-morning shooting, which witnesses said began as an argument in the school's parking lot at 4701 Limestone Road.

According to police spokesman Cpl. Jeff Whitmarsh, at about 12:11 a.m. a student saw Timothy S. Smith, 19, of Chesterfield Drive in New Castle, urinating near Miller Hall in front of some female students. The alleged incident sparked an argument between Smith and the two men -- a student and a visitor, both from New Jersey -- who complained about Smith exposing himself to the girls. The confrontation turned physical.

Whitmarsh said that's when Smith went inside his dorm and retrieved a handgun. The two men, meanwhile, left in a white SUV and were headed toward Stoney Batter Road when shots were fired.

"The first shot occurred on the campus property," Whitmarsh said, "and [Smith] continued to fire as the vehicle and victims traveled onto Stoney Batter Road."

The two men continued driving north on Del. 7 and were uninjured, Whitmarsh said, adding that Smith then left the scene in a black Mitsubishi Gallant.

It is unknown what happened to the female students.

Students and faculty expressed shock Friday over the incident at the college of about 1,300 students.

"We've never had an incident of this type on campus," Goldey-Beacom vice president Gary L. Wirt said. "Not a gun, not a projectile."

Smith surrendered to state police at about noon to face charges of possession of a deadly weapon during a felony, two counts of first-degree felony reckless endangerment, two counts of misdemeanor indecent exposure and criminal mischief.

Smith is being held at Young Correctional Institution on a $10,500 bond.

Wirt said Smith now faces disciplinary action and the school sent a letter to Smith on Friday afternoon.

The standard sanction for having a weapon on campus is expulsion, Wirt said, though he did not elaborate on what the letter said.

Smith was a transfer student from Delaware Technical & Community College this year and had only been on campus for two weeks.

"We have not yet determined if he had the gun in his car or in his room," Wirt said. "Either way, it was on campus."

Twelve hours later, a state trooper meeting with media on campus narrowly escaped injury in a bizarre unrelated incident after a driver speeding through the college's parking lot did not heed his orders to stop and nearly ran him down, triggering a police pursuit.

In the wake of the shooting incident, school officials intend to review its existing emergency management plan.

"We have a well-crafted emergency management plan," Wirt said. "Certainly, there are lessons to be learned from Columbine and Virginia Tech on a small suburban campus. We're very thankful it was not more serious than it was."

Wirt said students were immediately notified by e-mail of the incident. The school's emergency notification system has not yet been implemented for the school year.

On Friday, as Whitmarsh was addressing members of the media regarding the shooting investigation, a speeding car entered the school's parking lot from the Stoney Batter entrance.

Whitmarsh ordered the driver, identified as Joseph Asante, 28, of Melrose Drive in Newark, to stop but instead was forced to dodge the vehicle after it sped backwards, nearly hitting him.

The driver sped out the other exit, prompting a police pursuit that ended with Asante crashing into a motorcycle and parked car in the parking lot of the Mermaid Run Apartments.

Asante was charged with driving while revoked, felony DUI, failure to stop at the command of a police officer and reckless endangering