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Man suspected of killing parents at Central Michigan Univ. has been arrested

James Eric Davis, Jr. is the wanted suspect in the Central Michigan University shooting that killed two non-students. (City of Mt.Pleasant)
March 03, 2018

Police have arrested James Eric Davis, Jr. who allegedly shot and killed his parents on Central Michigan University’s campus on Friday.


Davis Jr. was captured late Friday after a lengthy manhunt that lasted nearly an entire day.

“Law enforcement personnel responded and arrested the suspect without incident,” Central Michigan University said on its website.

More than 100 officers from multiple agencies were involved in the search for Davis Jr., who was potentially armed and dangerous, according to the Chicago Tribune.

People who are familiar with the Davis family are shocked to hear about what happened. Those who knew them said that the parents were “outstanding” and Davis Jr. appeared to be “respectful” and “a good kid.”

“He was a good kid, always,” Deantre DeYoung said, who was friends with Davis when they both attended Plainfield South High School. “You would never expect something like this to come from James.”

Davis Jr.’s father, James Eric Davis, Sr., was a police officer and a veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as part of the Illinois National Guard. According a Facebook page, his mother, Diva Davis, was a real estate broker who was a survivor of breast cancer and a former flight attendant.

The shooting occurred as Davis Jr.’s parents were picking him up for spring break. Shots were fired at around 8:30 a.m. Friday inside a building on campus.

According to Lt. Larry Klaus of the Central Michigan University Police Department, Davis Jr. was recently in the hospital due to a “drug-related health problem.” The department didn’t elaborate on what caused the health complication that sent Davis Jr. to the hospital.

Jordan Murphy who worked with Davis Sr. at the Illinois Army National Guard as a recruiter following their deployment as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom recalled several positive interactions with Davis Jr.

“Junior was a very respectful man, raised by upstanding parents, who would do anything to protect him and his siblings,” Murphy said. “This is an incredibly tragic event, and I pray for Eric’s other children. This is so incredibly out of character, something went wrong somewhere.”

Murphy described Davis Jr.’s parents as, “loving, ever-present parents who doted on their children.”

Julian Leal, who lives near the Davis residence in Plainfield, Illinois, had never had any negative experiences with the family and never observed any hints of violence.

“We had picnics in our backyard,” Leal said. “I just had a beer with him last week. We talked about our kids who are in college. He was proud of his son.”