CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Some Virginia State University students are reconsidering their options after two shootings happened on campus in the past week.
The first shooting happened Saturday when a man was shot in the leg in the stadium parking lot. Authorities say he is expected to make a full recovery.
Then, Thursday night on Hayden Street a student suffered life-threatening injuries when they were shot.
As a result, students like Rasheed McKell are reconsidering their decision to go to the school.
“I will not get shot, or be scared to sleep or walk around campus,” McKell said. “No, I don’t want to be in an environment like this.”
McKell said he always knew he would wind up at VSU.
“A lot of my friends, we all decided to come to Virginia State University because it’s close to home,” McKell said.
But now he says he’s beginning to regret his decision.
“I believe I want to withdraw next semester,” he said. “Next semester I will not be back here, no way.”
McKell is not alone. 8News reporter Aaron Thomas spent several hours on campus Friday speaking with students. Many of them are still trying to make sense of the most recent shooting.
Some, like McKell, are now wondering if the University is taking the correct measures to prevent them from happening.
“My parents sent us out here to get an education safely and I feel like I can’t even focus on school because I’m so scared that I might get shot leaving, walking to the store to get a little meal at night,” McKell said.
VSU officials beefed up security following the second shooting, increasing police presence in the area and locking all gates as a safety precaution.
Some, like VSU Senior Ashley Registre, think the administration is moving in the right direction.
“I think that they responded because when the shooting during homecoming happened, they had just had us on lockdown and sent an email fairly quickly after it happened,” Registre said.
Registre says she plans to remain vigilant, but won’t let recent acts of violence affect her college experience.
“There’s dangers kind of everywhere, so you just have to make sure you do all that you can do to protect yourself as an individual,” Registre said.
Students like McKell plan on doing just that, protecting himself and his peers.
“We all we got, and I don’t want to see non of my friends get shot,” McKell said.
Police have released suspect information. They described the suspect as a black male standing about 5’8″ and weighing about 180 pounds. At the time of the shooting he was wearing a blue jacket or hoodie, blue jeans and black shoes.