shooting occurs near campus
Jessica Guerrucci – Editor-in-Chief
On Tuesday, Sept. 8, New Haven police reported a shooting one-tenth of a mile from campus, prompting students to be asked to stay inside.
The shooting, according to an email sent out by Patrick Dilger, director of Integrated Communications & Marketing, took place in the area of Wintergreen Avenue and Wilmont Road.
“It was on Wintergreen Avenue which is just north of the campus,” said Police Chief Joseph Dooley, “and New Haven got a call and then New Haven called us.”
He said the New Haven police needed assistance with stabilizing the scene and blocking off traffic heading North on Wintergreen Avenue.
“We have a great partnership with New Haven, Hamden, and the state police in this area so we were doing our part,” said Dooley.
New Haven requested a lockdown of the area’s schools and Dooley said a notification was immediately pushed out to the Southern Alert.
A message was then sent to students around 5:30 p.m. that said violent and or criminal behavior had occurred in the area of Wintergreen and it was not until 6:00 p.m. when students received an “all clear,” informing them that they could now move about campus.
The message, Dooley said, was “generic” because of the limited information available; it stated that everyone should stay inside and secure themselves until they had more information.
“We were notified about 5:20 p.m. and then gathering, going to the scene, verifying getting the information I think our first broadcast went out at 5:36 p.m.,” said Dooley. “That might seem like a long time, but we don’t just send them out because someone saying so, we need to make sure because we don’t want to cause a panic.”
As a resident advisor in Farnham, Letitia Adumoah, a senior, said she had to knock on residents’ doors and let them know that a shooting happened it is advised for them to stay within their dorms.
“A lot of them kind of didn’t really listen because they were going to [Connecticut Hall],” said Adumoah, “but it wasn’t anywhere far so I told them ‘it’s okay you can go to Conn., but make sure you come straight back to the dorm.”
She saiD students did not think it was real, however it has also been an interesting first weeks for students with a tornado.
As for students not listening to the alert, Adumoah said she was not surprised.
“They’re college students,” she said. “Even though I’m their RA, I can just advise them. I can’t force them to stay unless we are told to force them to stay in, but since it wasn’t directly on campus, I believe that’s why it was just an advisement.”
Healthcare studies major Ashley Harris, a freshman, said she was in the student center when she got the alert.
“Everybody was just nonchalant about it,” she said. “Nothing was really happening to anybody.”
Harris said she and other students that were also in the student center at the time mostly ignored the alert, knowing they were already inside the student center and the email specifically had requested that students stay indoors.
Had there been an imminent threat, Dooley said they would have activated Southern’s Public Alert system with the sirens and students would have been aware that immediate action was necessary.
“It’s an unfortunate incident that happened there,” said Dooley, “but New Haven is continuing their investigation on it, so we were collaterally involved.”