Three charged after pellet gun fired at arts building

Photo by Jacob Medley.
Photo by Jacob Medley.

VCUPD charged three people with various felonies after shots were fired outside of the VCUarts Fine Arts Building located on the 1000 block of West Broad Street the evening of Sept. 30.

The pellet gun was fired from a car at three large windows, shattering the exterior glass — the shots did not enter the building itself.

Several minutes after the first shooting, two similar incidents were reported. The first from VCU’s Laurel and Grace Place and the second was a car parked outside of West Grace Street South Student Housing with a window damaged in the same fashion.

Corey Byers, public information officer for the VCU Police Department, stated in an email police officers were able to confirm the incidents were related and the individuals were not VCU students.

“It definitely looked like someone had intentionally thrown or swung something into the window because of the single spot where the shatter started,” said Veronica Gomes, a VCU art student. “I was confused because I hadn’t heard anything about it so I assumed it wasn’t a big deal.”

Byers explained VCUPD didn’t issue a text alert “because the shots were not directed at any persons in the area.”

Shawn Brixey, dean of the VCU School of the Arts, sent out an official statement to alert students of the incident, including an excerpt from the police report.

The statement included that the individuals in the car were identified and are pending charges.

“As an art student who frequently uses the building that was shot at, I’m a little annoyed that I didn’t get an alert,” Gomes said. “Especially since I receive so many alerts on campus that have no affect on me whatsoever.”  

 VCUPD also released a revised draft of their crime alert policies titled, “Timely Warning/Crime Alert and Emergency Notification, Response, and Evacuation.” The draft outlined what types of events around campus warrant notification.

The drafts are now open for public comment from staff and students until Oct. 19.

Emma Gauthier

Contributing Writer 

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