COMMERCE, Texas (CBSDFW,COM) – Texas A&M University-Commerce officials have identified the two women who were fatally shot on Monday as Deja Matts, 19, and her sister Abbaney Matts, 20.
The third victim, the 2-year-old son of Abbaney Matts, was treated and released to the care of family members.
Deja was a freshman at A&M-Commerce and was pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. She was from Garland.
Abbaney was not an enrolled student at the university.
The shooting happened at Pride Rock dorm, which primarily houses freshman. It prompted a “shelter in place” order for several hours after and all classes, programs and events were cancelled through Feb 5.
A 911 caller calmly told police that when she entered her dorm, it looked like “part of the ceiling had fallen onto her floor and desk,” and when she looked over, there was “a hole” through her wall. The student told the operator there was a “nick in her calendar like something was shot through the wall” and hit her calendar, leaving the wall broken apart.
Unlike the 911 caller, some students didn’t see or hear the shooting, but received an alert on their phones about police activity. They later returned to find their dorms taped off and weren’t allowed back inside.
“It felt chilling like… this is not supposed to happen here,” said student Esme Galvan. She saw police outside Pride Rock as the alerts appeared on her phone.
Students explained, that it takes a key card to get inside the building and on the elevator and then into a room. Despite that, some expressed they still don’t feel safe.
Other students talked about how difficult it was dealing with the shooting in light of a deadly shooting about three months ago at an off campus party in Greenville that hundreds of people, mostly students attended. Two people died and a dozen others were injured.
“You didn’t have to be there to be traumatized,” said student Jordan Polk.
Counselors are available in Rayburn Student Center conference rooms on campus for those in need of help coping with the situation.
The school released the following statement:
Our continued thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of the victims from this week’s tragedy.
According to the University Police Department, the shooting appears to be a targeted, isolated event. This remains an active investigation with multiple law enforcement agencies assisting.
Garland ISD also released a statement about the sisters:
We were deeply saddened to learn that these two former students were victims of the shooting at TAMU-Commerce. Our hearts go out to their families at this very difficult time, and they are in our thoughts and prayers.
Texas A&M University-Commerce is about 60 miles northeast of Dallas.