UPDATE: Salina Police Department Releases Cause of Death of KWU Faculty Member

UPDATE: Salina Police Department Releases Cause of Death of KWU Faculty Member

Update February 9th:

According to Captain James Feldman, on Thursday, February 8, 2024, at approximately 7:48 AM, Officers of the Salina Police Department along with Salina EMS were dispatched to Kansas Wesleyan University, Pioneer Hall, 100 E. Claflin, in reference to a female subject possibly deceased due to a gunshot wound.

Officers located Dr. Eileen St. John deceased in her office. The investigation has determined this was not a criminal matter and the investigation is closed.

UPDATE: The following message was sent to campus by President Thompson at 10:41 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, following a 9 a.m. university-wide meeting to share information.

Coyote Family:

Scriptures say to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. Today is a time of mourning, the likes of which our campus has not seen in some time.

Dr. Eileen St. John, head of the teacher education department, passed away in her office this morning. Dr. St. John was a leader on campus and a family-oriented individual, who gave her all to her students every day. She will truly be missed, and we will post additional information remembering her life and her effect on KWU in the very near future.

This is a time that many of us have never faced, but I want you to know that we will get through it together, as a family.

Chaplains are available right now in the SAC, Shriwise Dining Hall, UUMC and at 1808 Highland (the Campus Ministry house). In addition, the community is supporting us by offering counselors from USD 305 and other organizations. People grieve differently, in different ways and at different times, and we want you to know that we respect that. Services will be available for some time and at different locations through the KWU footprint. If, at any time, you have a question about the location of those services, you may visit with Student Development or Human Resources.

Classes are cancelled for Thursday and Friday, and all activities – to include Athletics – that are scheduled through Sunday will be postponed. In addition, Pioneer Hall is locked down today, Thursday, Feb. 8.

Additional information regarding coursework or activities will be sent, as needed, in the coming days.

I also want you, and everyone, to know that there was no danger to campus at any time, and there is no danger now. The campus is secure and for that, we are grateful.

In conclusion, we are all processing this terrible news together. We will view it in different ways, and at different times. Please give each other grace, patience and kindness as we mourn the loss of one of our own.

In mourning,


This morning, at 7:48 AM, Salina Police Officers were dispatched to Kansas Wesleyan University, 100 E. Claflin, in regards to a person who was injured in one of the buildings. Officers, Salina Fire, and Salina EMS responded and worked with KWU Security to locate the scene.

The location was secured by officers and the paramedics entered the location. The person was declared deceased.

There is no indication that there is any further danger to any facility, staff, or students at KWU.

Detectives responded and the investigation is on-going. Further information will be provided when possible.

Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Salina311.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Salina311.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.