Suspect identified in fatal stabbing on FVSU campus

Campus Police Chief Kenneth Morgan

May 4, 2016 – The Georgia Bureau of investigation has identified a suspect in the fatal stabbing attack on Fort Valley State University’s campus as Joseph Anthony Scott Jr.

Anthony, 25, is a former FVSU student who was last enrolled at the university in Spring 2015 semester. He is accused of fatally stabbing Donnell M. Phelps, a freshman Agricultural Engineering Technology student, at the main entrance to the campus and wounding FVSU campus security officer Earnest Johnson in the Tuesday afternoon attack.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge J.T. Ricketson said during Wednesday’s press conference that his agency is leading the criminal investigation.

According to preliminary reports, Scott entered the campus around 5 p.m. near the student cafeteria and began to harass and grope three female FVSU students who were leaving the building, said Campus Safety Police Chief Kenneth Morgan. Phelps, he said, stepped in to protect the women from Scott, who responded by brandishing a knife and repeatedly stabbing the 19-year-old. Phelps was transported to an area hospital where he died.

Scott was apprehended near the campus’ main entrance after he attacked and repeatedly stabbed campus safety officer Ernest Johnson. Morgan said FVSU internship coordinator Donavon Coley stopped the attack on Johnson and assisted in restraining Scott until campus police arrived.

Morgan said campus police responded within seconds to the scene following 911 calls from witnesses. They locked down the campus, secured the crime area, and sent out alerts about the incident.

Fort Valley State University president Dr. Paul Jones said he was saddened by the tragedy. He spent last night comforting the Phelps’ family.

“Words cannot describe the pain we feel. We’re absolutely devastated by the actions that took the life of Mr. Phelps and injured Mr. Johnson,” Dr. Jones said. “We as a university will come and support each other, because we are resilient and will support the Phelps family and Mr. Johnson who is on the road to recovery.”

Jones thanked the University System of Georgia’s sister institutions that were providing grief counselors to help students through the crises and their grief.

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Caption: Campus Police Chief Kenneth Morgan (left) and Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge J.T. Ricketson at a May 4, 2016 press conference.