By Melissa Boyd and Januel Timothy (Whetstone staff writers)
At least two people fired four 9mm gunshots on the northeast side of Williams Hall in the early morning hours of Sept. 30, Wesley security says. No one was injured but three cars belonging to Wesley students were damaged.
The shooters, who have not been identified or arrested, walked up behind Williams Hall and fired the shots at 1:43 a.m., said Walter Beaupre, director of safety and security at Wesley.
Beaupre said there were about 20 students outside at the time of the shooting.
“A 911 call was made to the police,” he said. “Wesley security and Dover police responded immediately.”
Wesley student Angelique Hill, whose room in Gooding Hall faces Williams, said she heard the shots.
“I knew exactly what time [it was] because I called my mom at 1:45 a.m.,” she said.
Hill said the sound was unusual.
“It didn’t quite sound like fireworks,” she said. “Perplexed, I called my mom, crying and shaking. I wasn’t used to something like that.”
Diamond Duncan-White also lives in Gooding Hall and heard the shots.
“At first, I was unsure if it was gun shots or not,” she said. “It was pretty loud, but it also sounded as if it could have been maybe a firecracker or two.”
Other students on Duncan-White’s floor reacted.
“The people on my floor immediately reacted by screaming, running in the hall, panicking,” she said.
Duncan-White was sitting at her desk in her room at the time, and said she saw Wesley security and Dover police scanning the area.
“The officers had their flash lights out and they kept circling cars, as if they were looking for something in particular,” she said.
She also said students outside didn’t seem to be shaken up about the incident.
“Everyone walked around as if nothing had happened,” she said. “They went on like it was a regular night.”
Duncan-White said Wesley did a good job waiting to alert students about the shootings.
“They did not want panic throughout the school until they knew exactly what was going on and what they were up against,” she said. “Rumors get spread and situations rise on insignificant information.”
Wesley students, staff and faculty received a security text message and email alerting them to the incident about nine hours after the shooting.
Duncan-White said she’s happy to be going home for break, but also sad, because of the shootings.
“I’m sad for those who had to stay for whatever reason,” she said. “At this point, I don’t feel like those who stay in or around Gooding and Williams Residence halls are very safe.”
She doesn’t feel very safe at Wesley’s campus at the moment.
“The whole college experience for me so far has been very overwhelming,” she said. “I had never imagined an earthquake, nor did I ever think there would be shots fired outside of my Residence Hall. It has definitely been an experience.”
Witnesses claim four shots were heard, but only two shell casings were found by Wesley security and Dover police, Beaupre said.
Four days prior to the Williams shooting, police reported a drive-by shooting on Bradley Street, in which a 57-year-old man was injured. On Sept. 21, near 30 S. New St., a 31-year-old man was shot in the upper right torso, according to the Dover Post.
A later text message and email sent to students asked students to submit tips about the shootings by calling Wesley’s anonymous TIPS line at 302.747.5110.