“I want people to still believe and still know that there are people who are promoting peace,” said Moore, a senior. He said organizers planned to walk along areas on campus where students have been the victims of violence and drop roses to commemorate them.
“It’s about spreading compassion, love, peace and happiness,” said junior Jalani Traxlar, a psychology major. “We shouldn’t celebrate someone’s arrest.”
Morehouse’s new president, John Silvanus Wilson Jr., said the rally was “very timely” given the level of gun violence in the city and around the country. He added that everyone is influenced by the issue.
The college’s 11th president said Morehouse and other schools in the Atlanta University Center must do all they can to make sure students are in a safe environment.
“If the students don’t feel safe, they don’t learn,” said Wilson, who had been executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Earlier in the day around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, the Atlanta Police Department said a Morehouse student’s iPhone was snatched from his hand and when he chased the robber several of the suspect’s “associates” attacked the student.
“They roughed him up and then fled the scene,” APD spokesman Gregory Lyon said. He said the student suffered cuts and bruises and was transported to the hospital.
Photographic evidence aided shooting arrest
Four shots were fired during the Friday shooting incident, which occurred at a gym at Samuel A. Archer Hall, Morehouse said.
“Some of the witnesses had the phones, the cameras, and we were able to get some very good photographic evidence,” Morehouse police Chief Vernon Worthy said at a Friday news conference. Worthy said about 20 people were in the area at the time.
The college said Friday that police believed two suspects were involved and that they were students of the AU Center. There was no word Saturday on whether another suspect was being sought. In addition to Morehouse College, the AU Center consists of Morehouse School of Medicine, Clark Atlanta University and Spelman College.
The wounded Morehouse student was shot in the forearm, the college said. Morehouse did not provide the age or classification of the student victim. No other injuries were reported.
“We think it’s totally irresponsible to have a weapon on a college campus, let alone discharge it,” Worthy said Friday.
A scheduled Saturday basketball game between the Morehouse Maroon Tigers and Clark Atlanta Panthers was canceled.