Brandon Robinson, 20, died not long after he was shot outside of the Hugine Suites around 1:30 p.m., authorities said.
The gunmen left campus before police could catch them, said university Police Chief Mernard Clarkson, and the campus was locked down for hours afterward to keep them from returning.
“Our students are secure and safe as we keep looking for these individuals,” Clarkson said.
Robinson, an Orangeburg native, was a redshirt junior on the football team and played on the defensive line, The State reported.
Clarkson said police haven’t figured out what led to the shooting. He said his officers know one person
they want to talk to, but he wasn’t ready to release a name.
The shooting shocked the entire campus, university President Thomas Elzey said. Grief counselors will be brought in to talk to students and staff.
“We, again, are extraordinarily sad about this. He was a very nice young man. And it hurts. It hurts us all,” Elzey said, trying to hold back tears.
Elzey said Gov. Nikki Haley offered any help the school needed.
Though the lockdown was lifted Friday evening, Clarkson said the school was letting traffic in and out through only one gate.
S.C. State also was the site of a fatal shooting in 2011, when police said three men met on campus for a drug deal. A student, 22-year-old Jonathan Bailey, was killed.
The historically black university of about 3,200 students is in Orangeburg,
about 40 miles south of Columbia.