CSU increases police patrols in response to Monday incidents

Central State University increased its police presence a day after a shooting, robbery and an assault prompted a lockdown on campus late Monday.

CSU police have been patrolling campus more since the incidents and staff and faculty are trying to be “very visible,” said police chief Stephanie Hill. The university is also offering counseling to any students who need it.

“Everybody’s out,” she said. “It feels like 20-something degrees outside today, but everybody’s out walking around on Central State’s campus.”

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Students gathered for a vigil on campus Tuesday afternoon during which they sang songs and prayed together. The university would not allow reporters to interview students, despite Central State being a public institution.

The campus went into a lockdown shortly before 9 p.m. Monday after a robbery and a shooting that happened 15 minutes later in the same residence hall. The lockdown was lifted around midnight.

The robbery victim reported three CSU students, one of whom was armed with a gun, entered her dorm room and demanded marijuana.

The victim has identified suspects, but no arrests have been made at this time. Law enforcement officers recovered a weapon after searching a nearby wooded area.

As police were investigating the robbery, they heard gunshots in the building.

A female student was was shot in the leg when a bullet traveled through a wall and struck her as she lay in her bed, Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer said. Her name has not been released by authorities.

The woman was transported to Miami Valley Hospital, where she was listed in stable condition. The victim and her family met with Hill and told her she plans to return to school.

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Chief Hill was assaulted about two hours after the robbery in what she said was an unrelated incident. Darion Jones, a CSU student, was arrested and charged with assault on a police officer.

Each incident is being investigated separately, officials said on Tuesday.

Robberies are rare on Central State’s campus: only two were reported between 2012 and 2015, the most recent years for which data is available. Assaults and drug-related incidents are more common, with 62 aggravated assaults reported and 55 drug citations issued between 2012 and 2015, according to Clery crime statistic reports the school is required to issue.

“It’s not any bigger issue than any other campus. I think that you can go on any campus at any time and that you’re going to have a small amount of recreational drugs,” Hill said. “I don’t think that’s an isolated incident or that it’s unique to Central State.”

Central State alerted students through several channels, including text message and social media. An alert was posted on Central State’s Twitter account at 8:46 p.m. telling students of the gunfire and initiating the lockdown.

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Student safety and securing the crime scene was the top priority, Hill and Fischer both said. Despite the lockdown, though, “there were a lot of people moving around,” Fischer said.

“We’re just like every other university,” Hill said. “Our students have a choice to participate or not.”

A lockdown is typically handled by the college, Fischer said. Deputies have the authority to initiate one, but CSU made the call last night.

Both Fischer and Hill said they would review the handling of the incidents to see if anything needs to change in the future.

“The campus needs to review their lockdown policies and notification system…to make sure its working properly,” Fischer said. “We’re going to have to review everything that happened last night and see if we can improve or see if we’re OK with the way everything went.”

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