FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado State University student Savannah McNealy was among three people killed in a shooting in Fort Collins Thursday morning. Friends, students and members of the community are invited to attend a vigil for her on Friday afternoon.
According to a statement from University President Tony Frank, McNealy, 22, was majoring in arts and would have graduated in December.
In the statement, Frank says, “I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Savannah personally, but I have talked this afternoon with others who did… and she sounds like an exceptional, bright, energetic, confident and creative young woman. She was clearly loved as a friend and daughter.”
A friend told CBS4, “Savannah was enthusiastic, witty and fun. She was a brilliant creative and a go-getter. She had bright things ahead of her, and the CSU community will greatly miss her.”
The shooting happened just before 2 a.m. at the Sunstone Apartments on City Park Avenue, just a few blocks from campus.
Those living in the complex and nearby told CBS4 they heard nearly a dozen gunshots and then heard screams for help.
“It all happened really fast,” CSU student Sebastian Davis said. “I was pretty sure they were gun shots so I ran over to my roommate,s room. He said he heard them too. He thought it was someone banging on the dumpsters.”
Davis said he let his guard down and went outside to check.
That’s when he saw a man outside the neighboring building, looking right at him.
“At first we didn’t see the gun, with the cars in the way. We didn’t see it until he brought it up to himself,” Davis said.
Darren Rutz also lives in the apartment complex and heard the shots.
“Shortly after that there was female right outside our window asking for help,” Rutz said.
When Fort Collins Police Department officers arrived, they found four people had been shot.
Three people died — including McNealy and the suspected shooter.
The other two people who died are expected to be identified by the Larimer County Coroners office on Friday.
Investigators spent the day collecting evidence and talking to witnesses but have yet to say what may have led up to the shooting.
There will also be a vigil for McNealy held on the CSU campus at 4 p.m. on Friday near the Ram Walk on Meridian Drive.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.