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UPDATE: VCSU Student Arrested on Murder Charges

October 2, 2013

Cedric Chappell, Jr.

A Valley City State University student was arrested there Tuesday on charges of second degree murder and attempted murder following a shooting at a Minneapolis, Minn. nightclub.
Cedric Chappell, Jr., 21, formerly of Minneapolis, was charged Tuesday with fatally shooting Willie Smith, III, 22, of St. Paul, Minn., and injuring an unidentified man outside a Minneapolis bar in the early hours of Sunday, according to Hennepin County, Minn. Attorney Michael O. Freeman.
According to a criminal complaint from Hennepin County, Minn., the incident began in the Blue Nile Nightclub in Minneapolis when an altercation erupted and spilled over into an adjacent parking lot. At some point, two groups of people outside began shooting at each other.
During the shootout, the victims were approached by a man who shot Smith in the chest. The unidentified victim attempted to run and was shot in the leg. The unidentified victim was able to limp to a nearby fire station. Smith made it a few yards before collapsing. He was dead when emergency personnel arrived, according to the complaint.
Upon arrival, police found evidence evidence of multiple gunshots with numerous shell casings and cars with bullet holes in the area.
Chappell was identified by a man who informed police he knew the suspect and identified him from a lineup. Police contacted Chappell, who admitted he was at the scene and heard gunshots. He also admitted to being dressed as the witness described.
According to Valley City Police Chief Fred Thompson, his department was contacted by the Minneapolis Police Department for assistance with the investigation.
The Valley City Police Department, with the assistance of the Barnes County Sheriff's Department and the Stutsman County Narcotics Task Force, was able to locate and arrest Chappell on campus property where he was taken into custody without incident.
Chappell is a sophomore at VCSU where he majors in health science. He entered VCSU, where he is a member of the football team, from North Dakota State College of Science last January, according to Greg Vanney, Director of Communications and Marketing at VCSU.
Chappell was suspended from the university.
After the arrest, VCSU President Steven Shirley notified campus staff of the incident and that the university would cooperate with police. He informed students and staff that police would be present on campus during the investigation,
"This is something new to this community," said Vanney. "It's a resilient community. We go forward," he added.
Chappell is currently in the Barnes County Correctional Facility awaiting extradition to Hennepin County.

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