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Ohio university mourns after fatal shooting

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Two arrests in Ohio shooting
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: A student says he and others were patted down entering the party
  • Flags fly at half-staff and a campus memorial service is held
  • Two men, due in court Tuesday, are accused of killing one and injuring 11
  • They had been ejected from a party at the frat house early Sunday morning

For more on this story, go to CNN affiliates WKBN and FOX8.

(CNN) -- Students and staff somberly returned to class Monday at Youngstown State University, where a prayer service was held for the people shot over the weekend.

Jamail Johnson, 25, died from a shooting at an off-campus party early Sunday morning, while 11 people were wounded.

Flags flew at half-staff Monday on the eastern Ohio university's campus, with counselors on hand and a "very moving and sad prayer service" in the morning to remember the victims, Youngstown State communications director Ron Cole told HLN's Vinnie Politan.

"It's obviously a very difficult time, and we're trying to do our best as a community to come together and heal," Cole said.

On Monday, police identified Columbus E. Jones, 22, and Braylon L. Rogers, 19 -- both Youngstown, Ohio, residents but not students at the university -- as the suspects.

One killed, 11 injured in off-campus shooting
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Johnson died after being shot once in the back of the head and several times in the lower body, said Dr. Joseph Ohr, a forensic pathologist at the Mahoning County Coroner's Office.

Six of the 11 people hurt in the shooting were students. The injured ranged in age from 17 to 31, Youngstown Police Chief Jimmy Hughes said.

All but three had been treated and released by Sunday afternoon, said Tina Creighton, a spokeswoman for St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown. Creighton said in an e-mail Monday that family members had asked that the hospital not comment further on the conditions of the three or if they remained in the hospital.

The shooting happened early Sunday morning during an impromptu party at an off-campus house where some members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity resided, according to police.

One of the suspects was being escorted from the party after a scuffle, Youngstown Police Capt. Rod Foley said Monday. The shooting erupted outside shortly afterwards, he said.

Johnson was apparently trying to calm the situation when he was shot, according to Hughes. The men fired indiscriminately into the house, striking 11 more people before fleeing, the chief said.

"I just heard gunshots, then immediately hit the ground so I wouldn't be struck," Youngstown State freshman DeShaun McDonald, who was at the party, told HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell. "He fired at least a good 12 shots."

Authorities arrested Jones and Rogers without incident Sunday afternoon, according to police.

They had been scheduled to appear in court Monday, but prosecutors delayed their initial appearance until Tuesday to make sure that all "I's were dotted and T's crossed," Hughes told CNN affiliate WKBN.

Cole said the shooting isn't a product of town-gown tensions between city residents and university students, describing Youngstown State as "one of the safest campuses in the state of Ohio."

McDonald, the Youngstown student, voiced a similar sentiment, saying he has "never not felt safe on school grounds."

Still, he said the school is in a "more dangerous" part of the city. That's one reason why those heading into area parties are often patted-down to ensure they aren't carrying weapons, something McDonald said was the case at this weekend's event.

Cole said there's a common understanding among authorities of the need "to address what is a constant problem in the city of Youngstown as it relates to crime."

Johnson's friends described him Sunday as a nice person who didn't get into trouble.

"He wasn't the person that you had to be worried about when you went out," said David Oliveira, who isn't a Youngstown student but knew Johnson from his hometown. "He wasn't the type of guy to get into conflicts."

James Baker, who attended Youngstown last spring, said Johnson was a "real good dude" who was going to graduate this spring.

"He had goals. He had plans to open up a business," Baker said, adding Johnson was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I'm hurting for him right now," Baker said. "I'm just surprised he had to be the one in the crossfire."

CNN's Nick Valencia, John Branch, Susan Candiotti and Ross Levitt contributed to this report

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