Following a shooting Tuesday night at a block party near Clark Atlanta University’s Woodruff Library, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued her support to the students affected and assured the community that Atlanta Police would assist with campus officials.
Four college students were wounded when a gunman opened fire into a crowd of 200 people outside a library near Clark Atlanta University and then escaped in the chaos, authorities said. All four injured women were in stable condition after the gunfire, which happened shortly after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. None of their injuries were life-threatening, according to Atlanta Police.
“When parents across this country have entrusted the well-being of their children to our city, it is most important that we continue to work with our partners to ensure their safety,” the Mayor said in a statement. “While the full force and resources of the Atlanta Police Department are in operation to assist in bringing those responsible to justice, we as a community will continue to work with the Atlanta University Center and campus police, and all of our colleges and universities, to take meaningful action to keep our campuses safe.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the impacted students and their families,” she added.
Investigators on Wednesday were checking surveillance cameras in the area, Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos told The Associated Press. Police wouldn’t say what the cameras might have captured.
The gunshots began after an argument broke out between two parties and someone opened fire, investigators said. Video aired by WXIA-TV shows dozens of students running frantically after the gunshots were heard.
“It appears there were two separate groups that were targeting each other, and these people were just caught in the crossfire,” Atlanta police Capt. William Ricker told reporters.
“We are asking our faculty to be aware and prepared to support those students experiencing the effects of this incident, Lucille Maugé, Clark Atlanta’s interim president, said in a message to students.
An official, unattributed statement from the university read, “One of our top priorities at CAU is the safety and security of our students. Here at Clark Atlanta University, and across the country, students have the right to gather together in celebration without the fear of violence. We will not stand for it in the Atlanta University Center. We are working diligently with Atlanta PD to identify those involved.”
Atlanta police routinely work with Clark Atlanta’s police department, as they do with campus police at other schools in the city such as Georgia State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, according to Campos.
“We’re always very much aware when school is open at the campuses inside the city of Atlanta and we do make a concerted effort to work closely with the campus police and make sure we properly patrol our areas,” Campos said.