Monday, April 03, 2006

Overread in Durham--Vol. Escalating into Madness

From an email directed to all undergraduates from the VP of Student Affairs. Yay humanity:

Dear students,

I write to inform you of a rumor I've just learned. I don't have a way
of validating the credibility of the rumor as it came to us third hand
from the Durham Police to various members of the Duke community. What
we've heard is threats of "drive by shooting" of the lacrosse house in
the Trinity Park area. As of the time I write this (approximately 9pm),
we are aware of a gang-related shooting that took place this afternoon
on Sedgefield Street in Walltown (several blocks from Trinity Park). We
are assured by Durham Police that this is not related to Duke in any
way. We also have a report that passengers in a car yelled at Duke
students in houses on Buchanen Street.

I share this information with great discomfort. I neither want to create
any sense of hysteria for the Duke and Trinity Park communities nor
withhold the existence of this information. We've spoken with several of
the students who live in those houses and many have chosen to stay
elsewhere tonight.

Duke and Durham Police have substantially increased patrol coverage of
the area including Trinity Park, Ninth Street and East Campus. That
coverage will remain in place for as long as necessary. I would suggest
that until we have information to discredit or validate this rumor, we
all take appropriate precautions.

Unfortunately, tensions are very high right now and may not abate for
awhile. I would anticipate further rumors and conflicting information
and we'll do our very best to keep you informed. Most important will be
to care for each other as we all struggle with these challenges. We have
work to do to restore confidence in our community and I have absolute
belief that we can and will.

Please contact Duke Police *anytime* if you feel threatened or have
information related to any unsafe situations. Call 911 or 684-2444 for
immediate support.

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