Hampton University

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President Harvey's Letter to Students
about the Shooting Incident

Dear Students:

As I am sure you know, there was a shooting incident on the campus of Hampton University at approximately 1 a.m. on Sunday, April 26, 2009. No current students were involved and/ or injured and fortunately, there were no fatalities. A former student, currently residing in New York, allegedly shot a pizza delivery driver and the night manager in Harkness Hall. He then allegedly turned the gun on himself. All three were airlifted to area hospitals. Hampton City Police are investigating the incident, and the Hampton University community is praying for those injured.

When I arrived at the scene approximately 15 minutes after the shooting, the campus was on lockdown, the crime scene had been secured and Harkness Hall had been evacuated. Text messages were sent, a telephone message was been left on campus telephones including dormitories and offices, and information about the situation was placed on the web site at 2:57 a.m. Hampton University Chief of Police, Leroy Crosby, indicated that he did not send the above message until approximately two hours after the shooting because he felt there was no danger to any student, faculty, or staff due to the fact that (a) there was a lone shooter who had been apprehended, (b) the crime scene needed to be totally under control for the police, lab technicians, and emergency medical personnel, and (c) he wanted to make sure that the information that wassent to everyone was accurate. I actually remained on the scene until 5:00 a.m. and spoke to a number of students to make sure that they are aware of the services available to them on campus, including counseling.

Please be assured that the Hampton University continues to take every precaution to ensure the safety of our campus. There is no greater priority for us than the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff. We are working hand-in-hand with law enforcement authorities to confirm exactly what happened and why. All of the first responders including, Harkness Hall dormitory personnel, the Hampton University Police, Hampton City Police, Hampton Fire Department, Hampton EMT and Hampton University student affairs personnel, handled the shooting on campus in a swift, professional, and effective manner. They are real heroes. I commend them for immediately handling what quite possibly could have been an even more tragic situation.

In addition to the sessions that I conducted on the morning of the shooting, and my speaking to students in the Chapel at the 11:00 service on Sunday morning, we have had at least two other sessions with students and one session with faculty and staff. I wanted this communication to come to you so that you would be the beneficiary of the latest information available to me.

With all good wishes,

William R. Harvey

HU Campus Community Comes Together
After Shooting Incident

Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey has met with students, faculty and staff to discuss the shooting incident on campus on April 26. Harvey recounted the details of the incident and the status of the victims.

“We are grateful there was no loss of life and no students were involved in any way,” said Harvey. “We pray for all those who were shot and the one who allegedly did the shooting.”

Harvey met with the residents of Harkness Hall shortly after the incident. He also spoke with students at the Sunday service at the Memorial Church. Harvey along with Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Barbara Inman also met with students in the Student Center the same day as the incident.

Harvey praised the first responders to the scene, including the Harkness Hall dormitory personnel, the Hampton University police, Hampton City Police, Hampton Fire Department, Hampton EMT and Hampton University student affairs personnel. He said that without swift, professional, and effective responses, there could have been a much larger tragedy.

Harvey encouraged faculty and staff to make sure door locks and swipe systems are working properly in their buildings throughout campus and to swiftly report any malfunctions.

Letters to the parents of HU students with information about the incident and security measures on campus were mailed the day after the incident. Also, the Office of Student Activities had a sign-up drive for the emergency messaging system on April 28 through May 1 from noon – 2 p.m. in the Student Center Cyber Lounge. Students also may sign up anytime by visiting http://www.hamptonu.edu/current_undr. The Student Leaders also made care packages for the two injured victims.

Inman said the Student Counseling Center is always available to students, and they are especially encouraged to take advantage of the service now.

“We are keeping students and parents informed, and we want the university community to be assured that student safety is our number one priority,” Inman said.

-Yuri Milligan