Some JMU students return feeling uneasy after Devon Lane shooting

Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 8:12 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Many James Madison University students were on fall break and not in Harrisonburg when eight people were shot early Sunday morning not far from campus. As students returned on Monday, some felt uneasy.

As of now, the Harrisonburg Police Department has made one arrest in connection to the shooting.

Tyreaf Isaiah Fleming, 20, is now charged with attempted murder, aggravated malicious wounding, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and the use of a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection to the shooting.

Investigators are still working to determine if there were other suspects involved. City officials tell WHSV this was an isolated event specifically related to the gathering that was taking place.

“There’s just an unease in the community I feel like,” Georgia Coose, a JMU student and resident on Devon Lane, said.

Some students said incidents like this are not supposed to happen in places like the Friendly City.

”It’s pretty scary,” Davis Marden, a JMU student and resident on Devon Lane said. “You hear these stories about shootings like this happening in like more city-like colleges and you know we like to feel safe in Harrisonburg but this was a pretty big shock to all of us.”

Marden said he heard the shooting happen and he and his roommate immediately called the police.

“It was a late night. We were all just about to go to sleep and we hear just a bunch of like, four big bangs,” Marden said. “An hour later, this whole street was filled with police they just shut down the area.”

Harrisonburg Mayor Deanna Reed released the following statement regarding the shooting to WHSV on Monday:

“Our officers acted quickly to make an arrest in this incident, and are continuing to investigate to ensure that anyone else involved is brought to justice. We continue to pray for the recovery of those who were injured. There is no place for violence such as this in our society; certainly not in Harrisonburg.”

Some students said they plan to move when their lease ends after this incident.

”It’s shocking. I’ve heard there’s been shootings on Devon Lane before but something so close to where I live it’s scary to me,” Marden said.

Coose said Foxhill Townhomes sent out an email on Sunday that said they plan on ramping up security in the area.

”As soon as I got on to Devon Lane when I came back my stomach started to turn just because what happened is so insane. I’ve never lived somewhere where something like that has happened before so it definitely made me hesitant to come back to school,” Coose said.

In a release from JMU on Sunday, school officials said none of the eight people injured were currently enrolled at the university.

“I’m just hoping we can heal as a community and you know stick together and be better through it all,” Marden said.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Det. Brittany Thurston at (540)432-7787 or, or call the HPD Crime Solvers tip line at 540-574-5050.