Students are scared for their lives. What is GSUPD doing?

The Atlanta Police Department responded to a shooting at 111 Peachtree St. SW.

An armed robbery and an attempted kidnapping took place overnight Thursday, leaving students scared for their lives. The robbery, which took place around 11:40 p.m., happened right outside of Student Center West and Chick-fil-A.

Student Paul Nkengasong said he was under the bridge on Collins Street when the incident occurred.

“One of them pulled a gun and circled me, and the other one came and grabbed my backpack, and we went back and forth for a little bit,” he said. “They got the gun pulled up and he cocked the gun in my face and I just let him take the backpack.”

Nkengasong was then told to empty his pockets, and then he ran toward the library and notified library security while the suspects fled. The library was locked down for about an hour while a Georgia State University Police Department officer interviewed Nkengasong.

The second robbery — and attempted kidnapping — happened on John Wesley Dobbs Avenue around 20 minutes after midnight. According to the police report filed by reporting officer Danny Williams, the victims were two Georgia State students who were walking down the street toward the Georgia Pacific building.

The two students told police they were apprehended by a man who had pulled up in a black Buik. When they tried to run, he grabbed one of them and ordered her to get into the trunk of his car.

She told the assailant to take her wallet and then threw it, causing him to chase after it. Once he had it, he looked at the other student and fired his handgun in the air before fleeing the scene. GSUPD arrived shortly after.

Students received a campus broadcast following the incidents Friday afternoon from Chief of Police Joseph Spillane, telling students that crimes like these are rare and that GSUPD is looking into them, but Spillane didn’t provide any further details on what specific action to take, only telling students about the existing campus services such as the LiveSafe app.

In response to the incidents, the Student Government Association released a statement on Instagram, stating that they are working with GSUPD to increase safety on campus to prevent tragedy.

“Fortunately, the only things lost were material items but if we, as Georgia State University, do not work on improving our patrol systems and security, the next event could become tragic,” SGA stated in a press release. “The safety Committee is actively working with [GSUPD] and Security to increase lighting, increase the efficiency of patrol cars, and increase camera equipment around all campuses but specifically Blue Lot, Green Lot and the Atlanta campus and surrounding areas.”

On the app Wildfire, which is a user-driven alert app, some students are upset with GSUPD for not preventing these crimes.

“Anyone else ready to protest gsu police for not protecting us students? We are risking our lives for an education,” user aqua said.

Another user, SeKoixaGonzalez, wrote a post on Friday referencing the incidents and asking Georgia State to do something about.“Georgia State University, what are you going to do about this? Your students are being robbed at gun point and there is no one there to protect us,” she said.

In response to a question regarding the complaints from students, Spillane told The Signal that what GSUPD is doing is adequate for campus safety. 

“As far as GSUPD, our response to crime and criminal activity is appropriate as are the programs we operate to keep the campus safe,” Spillane said in an email Sunday morning.