Police investigating shooting west of Main Campus

Temple Police are investigating a shooting on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 16th Street that happened shortly before midnight Saturday.

Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said two Temple Police officers were patrolling about half a block away when they heard what sounded like gunshots. Once they arrived at the location of the shooting, they found five shell casings and discovered two separate car windows struck by a bullet, he added.

Leone said one 16-year-old male wearing a denim jacket with a patch on the back “might have been involved,” but no other information was reported to police.

“No one would say what happened, so we don’t know if there was an argument out there or something,” Leone said. “But nobody was hit by the bullets.”

A TU Alert was sent out about the incident at around midnight Saturday. No injuries were reported.

One student, freshman business major Joe Babar, said he was out walking close the area where the shots were fired.

I thought it was crazy because it was the first gun shots I’ve ever heard,” Babar said. “Everybody near the shooting was running in the complete opposite way, toward the 7-Eleven [on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 15th Street]. I was kind of in shock, it didn’t hit me until later where I was like, ‘Wow, I just heard gun shots.'”

Another student, freshman geology major Dillion Riley, said despite the gunshots, nobody was nervous immediately afterward.

“I didn’t really feel anything, I just went out to go check it out,” Riley said. “They blocked it off and all of the drunk kids were trying to get around it. Nobody was scared, everybody was just drunk trying to get to their house.”

Steve Bohnel and Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at news@temple-news.com or on Twitter @TheTempleNews.

2 armed robberies reported Thursday morning

Temple Police are still investigating two armed robberies that occurred around Main Campus early Thursday morning.

Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said the first robbery occurred at around 12:05 a.m. near a food store at the intersection of 10th and Susquehanna streets. A student parked his 2005 blue/green Cadillac near the store, and went inside to make a purchase, Leone said.

As the student was leaving the store, two men approached him, one of whom was armed with a handgun, Leone said. They then took the student’s car, cell phone and other personal items.

Leone added police are still looking for the car, which has a New Jersey license plate. A TU Alert was sent out about the incident at about 12:45 a.m. No injuries were reported.

In the second armed robbery, Leone said a student was walking north on 15th Street near Montgomery Avenue when two men approached him. One of the men pulled out a black handgun and demanded the student to turn around, Leone added.

The men then went through the student’s pockets and took his iPhone 4, $32, keys and identification, Leone added. They then fled south on 15th Street, and got into a black or dark colored Dodge Charger, Leone added.

A TU Alert was sent out about the incident at around 3:50 a.m. No injuries were reported.

The first suspect in this case was last seen wearing a red Phillies sweatshirt, a red baseball cap, and dark blue jeans. He was reported to be 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall and in his early 20s, Leone said.

The second suspect was last seen wearing a red sweatshirt with white lettering that says “Life Guard,” and dark blue jeans. He is also in his early 20s, Leone said.

Leone added Temple Police has some “great video and stills” from cameras in the area and is working with Philadelphia Police to release the images.

“I feel very confident these males will be identified and apprehended soon,” Leone said of the second armed robbery.

Tipsters can contact Temple Police at 215-204-1234.

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@temple.edu or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.

Two suspects sought in robbery on Berks Street

Philadelphia and Temple police are searching for two male suspects in connection with an armed robbery which occurred on the 1600 block of Berks Street around 10:30 p.m. yesterday, police said.

Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said in an email that a non-Temple-affiliated male was turning onto Berks Street from Willington Street to retrieve items from his vehicle when the suspects approached him and brandished weapons.

The suspects obtained two iPhones before fleeing north down 16th Street in a red sedan, driven by a third male, Leone said. The victim told police that one suspect wore a blue hoodie and the other was wearing orange running shoes.

Detectives from Temple Police are working with Philadelphia police to review security camera footage from the area and search for potential witnesses, Leone said.

A TU Alert was sent out about the incident around 11:00 p.m. which encouraged anyone with information to call 911. The alert said the incident occurred on the 1800 block of Willington Street since the victim was turning off that block onto Berks Street, Leone said.

UPDATE: Leone said the suspects may have been involved in a robbery of three students which occurred near 18th and Diamond streets on Nov. 12 around 11:10 p.m. One suspect from the Nov. 12 robbery ran past the students walking east on Diamond Street and turned around and pointed a gun at them.

The students dropped their bags and cell phones on the ground, and the suspects fled east towards Broad Street in a dark-colored sedan that was parked, Leone said.

Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@temple.edu or on Twitter @JBrandt_TU.

Attendees at TSG meeting offer opinions on TU Alerts, dining options

On Monday afternoon, Temple Student Government surveyed attendees at its weekly meeting with a poll via text message. Students were asked about possible improvements in TU Alerts and dining options.

In light of this weekend’s incident in which a Temple student was shot, participants of the poll expressed concerns about TU Alerts. Students suggested faster response times from both the Philadelphia and Temple police, and greater Temple Police presence at late hours.

The poll also surveyed ideas for possible improvements to Temple’s dining choices. Healthier options like more fruit, vegetarian meals and adding a Saladworks on Main Campus campus were popular opinions. Later hours for the dining area in the lower level of Morgan Hall and the food court at the Student Center were also suggested.

During the next week, TSG is filming organizations taking a pledge as part of the It’s On Us campaign, which seeks to keep people safe from sexual assault.

There are around $80,600 available in allocations for events, and it was announced at the meeting that organizations must apply by Thursday to be considered.

The Organization of the Week was Hootathon, which raised more than $119,000 this past weekend for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The organization is also expanding its executive team and is seeking applications.

TSG is considering applications for a new elections commissioner and auditor.

Lian Parsons can be reached at lian.parsons@temple.edu or @Lian_Parsons on Twitter.

Shooting close to campus tests new CSS communications policy

By Sarai Flores

The scene of the shooting, 2036 N. Carlisle St.,which left two men in the hospital.

The scene of the shooting, 2036 N. Carlisle St.,which left two men in the hospital. | SARAI FLORES TTN

Philadelphia police responded to a shooting outside an apartment building less than a block off Main Campus Tuesday evening, which left two non-Temple-affiliated males in the hospital.

A 22-year-old male was found lying in the foyer of an apartment at 2036 N. Carlisle St. with a gunshot wound to his chest and was taken to Temple University Hospital in critical condition. Temple police said the man was visiting from New York.

A police spokesperson said that while officers were at the scene, they noticed a male driving away in a van. After briefly pursuing the vehicle, police reported that it crashed into a wall on North College Ave., near Girard College. The 19-year-old male driver was transported to Hahnemann University Hospital with injuries related to the incident.

The 19-year-old male’s involvement in the shooting is still being investigated and he had not been formally charged as of Wednesday night.

According to police, the 22-year-old male was in critical condition as of Wednesday and had yet to be questioned. No charges have been made to anyone involved in the shooting and police said they believe there were several males involved in the shooting.

Although the incident occurred around 9:38 p.m., Temple students were issued a TU Alert at 11 p.m. that night.

“The problem was we had a problem with our computer dispatching system,” said Charlie Leone, executive director of campus safety services.“It went down and so we didn’t get the information right away but Philly [police] was there very fast.”

The shooting came four months after a March 21 incident just off Main Campus where a female student was attacked and hit in the face with a brick by a group of teenage girls. Many students criticized the university for not immediately notifying them of the incident.

University officials initially said the incident wasn’t reported because it was off-campus, therefore not in their jurisdiction, and they weren’t notified about it by Philadelphia police until hours after. Leone said Tuesday’s incident showed a reformed communication policy since the attacks in March.

“Talking with the student population… they wanted more information. So we saw something like this and we wanted to make sure we had put the information out so they know what happened,” Leone said. “We’re trying to do better and we’re trying to improve.”

However, Inella Ray, a senior economics major, believes Temple police still have room to improve with communicating.

“I guess I come from a biased point of view because I grew up in the inner city, but I don’t rely on Temple police for safety,” Ray said. “I don’t think Temple police do a good enough of a job. We end up finding out about stuff very late. They need to do a better job communicating.”

Temple police have stated that they are continuing to heavily patrol the area.

Sarai Flores can be reached at sarai.abisag.flores@temple.edu or on Twitter @saraiaflores.

Paley Library evacuated due to bomb scare

The Paley Library and Tuttleman Learning Center were evacuated by police for close to a half hour Tuesday afternoon due to a suspicious package. The buildings, near the corner of 13th Street and Polett Walk, were evacuated around 2:20 p.m. and the all clear was issued at 2:45 p.m.

Police and bomb squad units responded to the scene where they closed 13th street from automobile traffic and had K-9 units as well as a bomb disposal robot on the scene.

The suspicious package was found on top of a urinal in the first floor men’s bathroom of Paley. The package was found to be a student’s electronics project that consisted of a tissue box with wires found on top, said Charlie Leone, acting executive director of campus safety services.

On Sunday at 5:38 p.m. the Conwell Inn on Main Campus was evacuated due to a prop grenade. The all-clear was issued 25 minutes later.

‘Eyes around Temple’ Facebook group created after armed robberies

After a TU Alert was sent out Friday, Dec. 10 and today informing students of four armed robberies that occurred in off-campus housing, “Toast McButter” created a Facebook group to raise awareness. The group already has 403 attendees. The following is an excerpt from the “more info” section:

“You are all probably aware of the INCREASED CRIME occurring around the off campus part of Temple University. I have lived off campus for 3 years and this year is by far the worst.

“…The economy is DOWN hard and when it is crime is UP. I am tired of hearing TEMPLE STUDENTS being robbed and assaulted. We are not targets, We need to stand together to help one another.

“Some people say it’s our fault for living off campus, but last time I checked this was AMERICA and we can live wherever we please. For most it’s not even an option with Temple having so little on campus housing( <— Big Issue).”

If you or someone you know was affected by the recent armed robberies, please contact news@temple-news.com.

Temple will test TU-Alert system on Friday

Temple’s Campus Safety Services sent out an e-mail today announcing that a test of the TU-Alert system will take place on Friday. Here is the partial text from the e-mail:

As a part of Emergency Preparedness at Temple University, a test of the TU Alert system will be conducted on Friday, October 2, 2009, beginning at 4 p.m.

TU-Alert notification is one component of Temple University’s Emergency Notification plan.

A TU Alert will be sent when a determination is made that immediate action is required on the part of the campus community because of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff on campus. Testing the TU-Alert system is a critical part of ensuring its effectiveness.

Is everyone signed up for alerts?

Temple to test TU-Alert

Temple will be testing its TU-Alert system beginning at 4:25 p.m. tomorrow.

Registered students should get a text message and voicemail sent to cell phones, a voicemail sent to residence hall landline phones and an e-mail to their Temple e-mail accounts.

Carl Bittenbender, executive director of Campus Safety Services, said he wants to be at 100 percent participation. To sign up, follow the directions below.

  1. Log on to owlnet.temple.edu.
  2. Click Emergency Notification Information – in blue on the home page.
  3. Follow the instructions to add/update your contact information.
  4. When you have finished, click GO.
  5. A message at the top of the page will read: “You have successfully updated your Emergency Notification Information.”
  6. Click Exit at the top