Shooting prompts ban on events

Published 3:00 am Friday, October 21, 2016

A letter from the Chancellor’s Office at Troy University this week announced that no open-to-the-public events will be allowed for the remainder of the football season due to a fight and shooting that occurred over the weekend.

Herbert Reeves, dean of student services, gave further details on exactly what kind of events will be affected by the rule and how it will be enforced.

“In other words, if an event is going to be held, it can only be for members of the organization or students,” Reeves said. “It will be by invitation only. Anybody can’t just walk up there. They’ll have to be invited and have some affiliation with the university.”

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The ban is in response to weekend incidents, including reports of multiple gunshots associated with crowds gathered on campus for an Omega Psi Phi fundraising event at Sartain Hall. Officials estimate as many as 3,000 people were on campus for the event at midnight Saturday, when the incidents occurred. Most were gathered outside Sartain.

No one was injured, but two individuals were arrested on misdemeanor charges. Cellphone video made public this week showed at least two fights among the crowds gathered before the gunshots rang out.

Reeves said the university will enforce the new rule by checking the events with the hosting organizations and making sure that proper security measures take place.

“We’ll have a lot more controlled environment,” Reeves said. “Security and appropriate people will have to be at the doors or the event will never happen.”

The letter announced that the open-to-public events would be disallowed throughout the remainder of the football season, but Reeves said the ban also will probably extend past the season.

“What we’re doing right now is giving us a little more time to research the incident in-depth,” Reeves said. “But there will be no events of that kind in Sartain Hall during the next three home games.”

The letter also included the details of Friday morning’s fatal shooting of a Troy student and the Sunday morning shots that were fired after the homecoming game.

“TROY’s recent homecoming week festivities were marred by two, unrelated instances of gun violence,” the letter reads. “The University is mourning the loss of a student, and we know you are as concerned as we are.”

The letter confirms details previously released about the two incidents, including two arrests made on people that are not Troy students for fighting.

The letter was sent out to all faculty, staff and students at 5:26 p.m. on Wednesday.