Clark Atlanta has been hosting its homecoming week, and a party was taking place at the time of the shooting, Channel 2 Action News reported. The university said in a statement it has been unable to confirm a party in the area, and there were no events scheduled there as part of the school’s official homecoming activities.
According to university police, the shots were fired from a vehicle traveling west on Parsons Street. The suspects are not believed to be students, university police Chief Debra Williams said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, our students must travel public streets in going between buildings on a daily basis,” Williams said. “We note that the perpetrators were non-students, yet they have access to these thoroughfares. The safety of our students remains our top priority as we continue to work with the City of Atlanta for solutions to senseless violence impacting innocent students and residents.”
Witnesses told Channel 2 that hundreds of people were gathered in the area when gunfire erupted. The crowd had been listening to a DJ in front of the library when the shots were fired, Atlanta police said.
Sophomore Patin Drayton-Brown told the news station she was returning to her dorm after grabbing a late-night bite to eat when she heard the shots.
“I ran inside, and next thing you know, I’m seeing a whole bunch of texts on my phone, saying (multiple) shots got fired out, people jumped in bushes,” she said.
Another student, freshman Ajai Dorsey, told the news station she’d never seen anything like the “craziness.”
“I just see so many people running. Everybody just dropped everything and took off,” she said.
No other details have been released by authorities. Police have asked anyone who was present at the time and has any cellphone footage or other information to contact them by calling the aggravated assault unit at 404-546-4213, sending an anonymous tip to 404-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.crimestoppersatlanta.org or by texting CSA and the tip to CRIMES (274637). Tipsters do not have to give any identifying information to be eligible for the reward.
Just two hours later, at 2:30 a.m., Atlanta police responded to a separate shooting three blocks away in the 800 block of Parsons Street. There, police found a 20-year-old man with a gunshot wound. He was alert when he was taken to a hospital, police said.
Investigators believe the victim was in a vehicle with two other people, who did not sustain any injuries, when he was shot. An unknown suspect approached the vehicle and opened fire. One of the people inside the victim’s vehicle returned fire.
Three years ago, four students were injured in a shooting at a block party in the same area as Sunday’s homecoming shooting, just outside Robert W. Woodruff Library. Two Spelman College students and two Clark Atlanta students, all women, sustained injuries when someone opened fire into a crowd of about 200 people, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.
It appeared the women were not the intended targets of the shooting, which stemmed from an argument, Atlanta police said at the time.
Two men were later arrested in connection with the shooting.
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