Police are searching for a gunman after a student and a campus visitor were fatally shot at Grambling State University in Louisiana on Oct. 25. (Reuters)

A student and a campus visitor were fatally shot at Grambling State University, and the gunman is on the loose, officials said Wednesday.

The authorities began receiving calls just after midnight reporting shots fired on the historically black university campus in northern Louisiana. Campus police found two males on the ground in a residential courtyard, said Will Sutton, the university’s director of communications.

Earl Andrews, a 23-year-old Grambling senior, and his friend, Monquiarious Caldwell, also 23, were both pronounced dead at the scene, Sutton told The Washington Post.

“An unknown suspect shot the two of them and fled,” Sutton said.

As of early Wednesday, the shooter remained at large, a Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Department spokesman said.

“We’re processing evidence right now, trying to develop our suspect,” said the sheriff’s spokesman, Maj. Stephen Williams.

The fatal shooting apparently began as “an altercation that started inside one of the dorm rooms and spilled out into the courtyard,” Williams said. No weapons were found at the scene. The sheriff’s office has taken over the investigation from campus police.

Students received emergency text messages from the university, urging them to stay in their rooms overnight, school officials said.

But class will be in session Wednesday at the campus, in the city of Grambling.

Grambling State University offices are open with normal business hours and students are expected to attend classes as scheduled.

— Grambling State Univ (@Grambling1901) October 25, 2017

The shooting occurred during Homecoming Week, when the campus sees a spike in visitors.

“It’s a horrible thing to happen on any day of the week, any week,” Sutton said. “It’s particularly unfortunate that it’s Homecoming Week, an annual, joyful series of days, where we have people returning home to campus. … Nobody wants to return to something like this.”

(Grambling State University)

This story is developing and will be updated.

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