By: Alanna Dovidio
SUNY Brockport students say they are left feeling unsafe after shots were fired on King Street early Sunday morning.
Officers were dispatched to King Street at 2 a.m. on Sunday after two gunshots were fired. According to a statement from the Brockport Police Department made on Sunday, the handgun that was used has been obtained by police. The investigation is ongoing, and no suspects are in custody. No injuries were reported. Despite this, students say they are left feeling unsettled.
This latest instance of gun violence is on the heals of a state of emergency in Rochester due to gun violence. Rochester has a total of 74 homicides this year which is the most ever recorded. According to an article by Rochester First, the Rochester homicide rate has increased 126% in the last five years.
King Street is filled with college housing and is known to be a popular party spot for students. Hundreds of students were out partying Saturday night into Sunday morning.
SUNY Brockport senior Brody Reardon lived on King Street for two years. He explained how lively the street was, especially on weekends.
“There were constantly parties and crowds of kids on the street. It was always busy on weekends and a lot of my neighbors threw big parties at their houses,” Reardon said.
“Since King Street is so close to the bars I would see drunk students get into fights on the street all the time. A lot of fights would happen right outside of my house and I would watch from the window. But nothing serious like this ever happened,” Reardon said.
At 3 a.m. a text alert was sent out to students through the Rave campus alert system. The text read “SUNY Brockport Alert: Incident on King Street. Two-gun shots fired. Suspect at-large.”
SUNY Brockport Senior Nikki DiTullio was just one block over at the Red Jug Pub on Clinton Street when the incident occurred.
DiTullio recalls multiple students’ reactions.
“Everybody started to panic and not want to go outside. We could see from the alley that there were a ton of cop cars. Rumors were spreading about what was happening, so we didn’t know what was true,” DiTullio said.
DiTullio says she was panicking while trying to locate her friends. Her friends huddled in front of businesses on Main Street after officers instructed them to seek shelter. She says that she was able to gather all her friends and make it home safely.
“It looked like the whole police force was out there. We saw a cop car on the corner of every street going down to Monroe. We also saw Ogden Police Department had officers there to help,” DiTullio said.
According to the statement released by The Brockport Police Department they had help from SUNY Brockport University Police, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and Ogden Police Department.
“They secured the weapon but it is unsettling that the suspect is still out there and somehow nobody can find him with all that police force around,” DiTullio said.
SUNY Brockport has responded to this incident by sending an email on behalf of the Police Department and offering counseling to students to who are experiencing trauma and anxiety.
As of now the investigation is still ongoing and no suspects are in custody.