Evanston Police are investigating the location where three teenagers were shot, one of them dead, in the 1800 Sheridan Road block of Clark Street Beach near Northwestern University, Wednesday, April 12, 2023, in Evanston Ill.

Northwestern University students launched a petition on Thursday and raised concerns about the slow response of the school in notifying students of a shooting near campus that left a man dead and two teenagers injured.

Jacquis Irby, 18, of Skokie, was killed and two boys aged 15 were injured in a shooting on a beach in Evanston on Wednesday night, according to police.

Around 8pm, two groups of people were arguing near the entrance to Clark Street Beach on the 1800 block of Sheridan Road. The argument escalated and at least one person drew a gun and fired at another group, Evanston police said in a statement.

The suspects left the scene in the vehicle and drove toward the Northwestern University campus, police said.

The university issued a shelter-in-place order, which students say was communicated via email about 30 minutes after the shooting. The order was picked up around 10pm

No one has been reported detained.

Northwestern University students were ordered to take cover late Wednesday as police searched for the shooters. The order was later revoked.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Irby was pronounced dead in hospital. A 15-year-old boy was listed in critical condition, and another boy suffered minor gunshot wounds, police and the Cook County medical examiner's office said.

Cmdr. Evanston Police. Ryan Glew said “nothing in the investigation indicates that these were random acts and there was an ongoing threat to the public.”

The participants most likely knew each other, police said.

On Thursday, school officials raised the concerns of members of the public about the time it would take for the university to share information about the incident and a shelter order.

The first messages to the public about the shooting came about 30 minutes after the shots were fired, school officials said.

Nearly 1,000 students have signed a petition to the university president, chief of police and administration asking why the school took so long to alert students by text or email that the shooting had occurred “just feet from Northwestern student residences, meals, studies, and residences. hanging out together.”

According to the petition, the students said that more than 90 minutes after the shooting they received a warning that read, “University Police responds to report of vacancy at empty Evanston campus. Please avoid the area and await further info.”

“We agreed that we should shorten that window,” university officials said of the time it took to send out the alerts. “We have met with key members of the leadership team to discuss what happened last night and have instructed them to review our responses, our procedures, and the incorrectly sent phone communications to ensure we do better when the next incident occurs.”

Officials also said they requested a review of the facilities in response to concerns that some of their buildings were difficult to lock down.

“We will continue to look at ways to improve our response and will incorporate your feedback into this process,” the officials said.

Northwestern said that while the incident occurred off-campus and the individuals involved are not affiliated with the university, it is fully cooperating with the investigation.

Justine Fisher, a student who signed the petition, was with a group of friends along the lakeshore when they heard what they thought were gunshots.

Within seconds they saw “so many people” running north, one of them screaming “gunfire!”

Fisher and a friend ran towards the campus and found a classroom, where students were confused by the commotion. They then escaped into the bathroom before running into the dorm room “because we wanted to find a place that had a lock on the door.”

Fisher says that e-mail or text alerts, which are useful when timely, shouldn't be the only way to contact students.

“To be honest, when I ran from my first building going to the second, I was a little surprised not to see a Northwestern police presence who could tell us what to do. In my opinion, that would be a better way to do it,” said Fisher.

Fisher, a sophomore, said he had not conducted active shooter drills while studying at Northwestern, and said he thought the university could use expert advice to deal with threats.

Evanston Police are investigating the location where three teenagers were shot, one of them dead, in the 1800 Sheridan Road block of Clark Street Beach near Northwestern University, Wednesday, April 12, 2023, in Evanston Ill.

Evanston Police searched the area near Northwestern University after three teenagers were shot. The victims were taken to an area hospital for treatment, police said. An 18 year old man was declared dead. No arrests were made.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Contributors: Allison Novelo