Friday, September 4, 2009

Students question campus safety after co-ed killed

Dormitories at Clark Atlanta University were locked down Thursday after a Spelman College student was killed by a stray bullet while walking near campus.

Sophomore Jasmine Lynn was shot around 12:30 a.m. Thursday on James P. Brawley Drive near Clark Atlanta, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office.

No arrests have been made.

CAU president Carlton E. Brown said there will be no visitors at campus housing. Extra campus and Atlanta Police officers have also been called in, Brown said.

Police questioned one witness at Grady Hospital on Thursday. The witness was taken to the hospital after being chased down and beaten by bystanders who saw the shooting, investigators said. Police said the witness is cooperating with investigators.

“He has some knowledge about what was going on,” Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington said. “We can’t say he’s the suspect. We can’t say if he was the actual triggerman. He’s a person of interest.”

The swarm of police on Thursday didn’t comfort the students who were left mourning their friend and scared for their safety. Dozens of students complained of slow response times from police at a town hall meeting at CAU.

“Look at the area we’re near,” said Loneia Powell, a 20-year-old Clark Atlanta junior from Columbus. “It happens all the time.”

Campus officials insist CAU is safe and the shooting is unusual.

“The challenges that led to this incident are no different from the ones that have recently been recorded at Georgia Tech and Georgia State,” Brown said. “The matters we are addressing are similiar to matters that many urban univerisites address. These remain safe places to be. while the risk is not great, the benefits certainly are.”

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