On Tuesday, the first day of school at Clark Atlanta University, one of a group of historically black colleges, a male shooter fired into a group of roughly 200 students, wounding four female students who attended either Clark Atlanta or nearby Spelman College. The shooting occurred outside the library, which is used by students from nearby colleges as well. The students were holding a party to mark the end of orientation, ABC News reported.
Atlanta police Capt. William Ricker stated, “It appears there were two separate groups that were targeting each other, and these people were just caught in the crossfire.”
11 Alive reported, “Police said they initially found three women students with gunshot wounds near the Robert W. Woodruff Library at the AUC. Those students were immediately taken to Grady Hospital. That’s when a fourth student showed up to the hospital as well to be treated for a gunshot wound. Police said the victims are in stable condition.”
By late Wednesday, no suspect had yet been arrested. Clark Atlanta’s Office of Religious Life stated, “Evil will not have its way on our campus.” Clark Atlanta interim President Lucille Maugé added, “We are asking our faculty to be aware and prepared to support those students experiencing the effects of this incident.”
The university released a statement saying, “One of our top priorities at CAU is the safety and security of our students. Here at Clark Atlanta University, and across the country, students have the right to gather together in celebration without the fear of violence. We will not stand for it in the Atlanta University Center. We are working diligently with Atlanta PD to identify those involved.”
Darryl B. Holloman, Vice President, Office of Student Affairs at Spelman College released a statement reading in part, “We are asking our faculty to be aware and prepared to support those students experiencing the effects of this tragedy who may not be in class, as well as others who will attend class, but will need guidance and an opportunity to discuss any concerns. Public Safety has shared the following advisory: Stay clear of the area where this incident occurred as it remains an active crime scene. There is no reason to believe that this incident represents an on-going threat to any individual or the community-at-large.”
Police spokesman Carlos Campos said, “We’re always very much aware when school is open at the campuses inside the city of Atlanta and we do make a concerted effort to work closely with the campus police, and make sure we properly patrol our areas.” Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms released a statement reading, “When parents across this country have entrusted the well-being of their children to our city, it is most important that we continue to work with our partners to ensure their safety … we as a community will continue to work with the Atlanta University Center and campus police, and all of our colleges and universities to take meaningful action to keep our campuses safe.”