Two students honored for giving aid after shooting on WIU campus

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 4:16 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MACOMB, Ill. (KWQC) - Two Western Illinois University resident assistants were honored Monday for their quick action during a shooting incident on the Macomb campus earlier this month, officials said in a media release.

Joshua Smith and Marcus Sweeten are resident assistants at Thompson Hall, where officials said a student was shot by his roommate, Kavion K. Poplous, 18, of Chicago, on Sept. 15. They received letters of commendation from WIU Interim President Martin Abraham and other university officials.

According to Office of Public Safety Interim Director Derek Watts, Smith and Sweeten administered life-saving first aid to the student until first responders arrived at the scene.

“I remember seeing the gun and hearing it go off and I ran, but something in me told me to go back, so I did. I couldn’t leave the victim there, nor could I leave my residents," Smith said in the release. "I felt like I had to do something no matter the consequences to my health. I am glad I went back, but I’m sorry for the situation we faced.”

“A lot of things happen that resident assistants have to respond to, but it was really hard to ever conceive of something like this happening, even when going through the situation," Sweeten said in the release. "I was on the floor in question because of fire alarm protocol. Quickly I knew that this wasn’t a normal fire alarm, and that’s when I found Joshua taking action on his floor, and found myself taking the same action in giving the victim the immediate care they needed. I didn’t really have time to process the situation until after the victim was taken from our care. My thoughts have been with the victim every day since and I hope they have a speedy recovery.”

Abraham noted the University is proud to have the two as members of WIU’s Thompson Hall resident assistant staff.

Meanwhile, Popolus had a hearing Monday on charges in connection with the shooting.

There is still no word on the injured student’s condition.

Copyright 2020 KWQC. All rights reserved.