Virginia State University Shootings Prompt Campus Security Changes

Two separate shooting incidents on the Virginia State University campus have campus police making changes to their operations.
Published: October 23, 2017

Virginia State University announced changes to it’s campus policing strategy following the second shooting on campus in less than a week.

Chesterfield police say the shootings are unrelated and are asking for the public’s help in identifying the gunmen.

The latest shooting occurred around 11 p.m. on Thursday night. Officers from VSU and Chesterfield County responded to a reported shooting on 1 block of Hayden Street and discovered a VSU student suffering from a gunshot wound with life threatening injuries, reports

A Chesterfield police spokesperson said officers dispersed a group of about 200 people from the scene, although they did not give any information on why the group had gathered. The campus was placed on lockdown until after 2 a.m. as police searched for the suspected gunman.

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“At this time, police believe this is an isolated incident and there is no further threat to the campus,” a Chesterfield County police spokesperson said.

Thursday’s shooting came less than a week after a person was shot in the parking lot of VSU’s football stadium.

In that incident, officers responded to an area where tailgating had been taking place and found a man with a gunshot wound suffering from non-life threatening injuries. The man, who is not a VSU student, was taken to VCU Medical Center. The campus was also locked down following that shooting.

“The recent incident does not reflect the values of the Virginia State University community. At VSU we are deeply committed to the safety of our students, employees and visitors,” Virginia State University President Makola Abdullah said. “I am saddened by the recent events that threaten the security of our campus. A positive college experience starts with our students and employees feeling safe on campus.”

VSU police announced several changes to campus security operations following Thursday’s shooting.

VSU police will continue their heightened police presence on campus. Campus police officers will also participate in “collaborative patrols” with the Chesterfield Police Department.

Other changes announced include added lighting and video surveillance cameras to areas on campus. Plain clothes, undercover police operations will also be underway, reports

Finally, VSU is instating a Zero tolerance crime enforcement policy.

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