CMU athlete among 2 shot at off-campus party


UNION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Two Central Michigan University students — one a football player — were shot after a fight broke out at an apartment complex in Union Township early Saturday morning.

The shooting happened around 1 a.m. at Deerfield Village Apartments, just 2 miles from CMU’s campus, the Isabella County Sheriff’s Office says.

When authorities arrived, they said they found a 23-year-old man and a 20-year-old man suffering with gunshot wounds.

The victims have been identified as 20-year-old CMU quarterback John Keller and 23-year-old Tyler Bunting, the university told News 8.

CMU’s student newspaper, CM Life, reports Keller was shot in the chest during the party and that the second victim was also hit.

A photo of Deerfield Village Apartments in Mt. Pleasant, MI. ( WOOD TV8/Ron Swanson)

Investigators say a fight broke out after a group of people showed up to a party at one of the apartments. Shortly after the fight broke out, one or more of the suspects went to a vehicle to get a gun and started shooting, injuring the two students.

Keller was taken by ambulance to a local hospital before being flown to Hurley Medical Center in Flint. As of 12:18 p.m. Sunday, Keller was upgraded from critical to serious condition, according to the sheriff’s office.

Bunting was taken by a private car to a local hospital where he is in stable condition.

On Monday, deputies announced that a warrant had been issued in the case for a man from the southeastern part of the state. The suspect has not yet been arrested as of Monday afternoon and his name is being withheld at this time.

Keller is listed as a sophomore walk-on QB who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer requirements after making the jump from the University of Cincinnati.

Those close to Keller were stunned by the news. 

“I kind of didn’t believe (it),” Keller’s friend DJ Harvey said. “I’m like there’s no way Johnny just got shot, you know, out of all people.” 

Harvey described Keller as a great friend and teammate.  

“He’s just always that person that you’d want in your corner,” Harvey said. “He’s always positive, I’ve never heard him say anything negative whether it was on or off the field.” 

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Keller’s family pay for medical expenses.

CMU President Bob Davies released a statement Sunday and the university is offering support services to the campus community.

“I and many other CMU staff have personally reached out to each of the students and their families to offer support. We are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers. Please join me in hoping for a speedy recovery for both individuals,” Davies’ statement said in part.

Anyone with information on the incident, has cellphone video or knows of any related social media content is asked to contact Isabella County sheriffs on Facebook, submit a tip on their website, email them at or call a case detective at 989.779.3346.

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