AMMAN: Jordanian university student Iman Ersheid, who was reportedly gunned down on campus, was laid to rest on Friday in the northern city of Irbid.
Ersheid, 18, was killed by an unidentified assailant on Thursday. Police said the suspect was wearing a cap.
She was a nursing student at the Applied Science University in Amman’s Shafa Badran neighborhood.
Police spokesperson Lt. Col. Amer Sartawi said criminal investigation personnel had identified the shooting suspect, who was still at large.
The police raided his house on Friday but he was not there. “But the search is underway for the suspect.”
He said official statements would be issued, and he urged people to adhere to the gag order issued by the attorney general banning the publication of any news about the case.
Police said the victim was shot over five times by the suspect, who fled the scene after committing the crime.
An eyewitness, who is a colleague of Ersheid, spoke on condition of anonymity and said the assailant had entered the university from its main gate brandishing a weapon.
She told Arab News that Ersheid was shot right after she left the exam hall at around 10 a.m.
Asked how a man could enter the university with a gun, the eyewitness replied: “I don’t know because the norm is that only students can enter and are sometimes asked to show their student ID to security. The university is now investigating the issue.”
She said the suspect fled the campus firing shots into the air. “I didn’t see that but was told about it by those who were present at the crime scene.”
The victim’s father said his last contact with his daughter was on the phone at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
“My daughter told me that she finished her exam and I told her to wait at the university until her brother comes and picks her up. He was on the way with the car to her,” the father told journalists.
But, two hours later, the father said he received a call from the police saying his daughter was being treated at a hospital.
Social media users launched a hashtag demanding justice for Ersheid and the severest punishment for the killer. The hashtag - “capital punishment for Iman’s killer” - was trending on social media.
The university offered condolences to her family in a Facebook post.
Zakaria Mubasher, the university’s student affairs dean, said the suspected killer was not a university student.
Mubasher told the government-owned Al-Mamlaka TV: “The security personnel at the university first thought the gunshots were firecrackers, but later realized that a student was shot.”
He said there were 800 surveillance cameras installed in different places in the university and that cameras had captured images of the killer. “The footage is now in the hands of the police.”
Mubasher added that the university’s security personnel had attempted to stop the suspect, but “he fired several rounds in the air so that he could escape, which he did.”
Following the incident, a group of MPs from the National Guidance Committee said they would meet with the government to discuss arm possession laws in Jordan.
Sociologist Kamal Mirza said the shooting must only be examined from a “criminal perspective.”
“Campus shooting and shooting incidents, in general, have not reached the alarming phenomenon level. Taking into consideration the low level of such crimes in Jordan, sociology should still not be used as an analytical tool.”
Mirza told Arab News that from a “statistical point of view” murder as a crime in Jordan was not a social practice yet, but a behavior.
“Maybe psychology could be applied to analyzing this crime. It is possible that the killer suffers from behavioral disorders.”
According to the latest official statistics, the country's crime rate decreased by 5.39 percent in 2021.
The Public Security Directorate report said 20,991 crimes were committed in Jordan in 2021, 1,196 down from the 22,187 registered in 2020.
There were 5,237 murders recorded in 2021.