PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) – Gunshots heard near the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Monday left many students shocked and concerned 24 hours later.
For most students, Tuesday was a normal day on campus despite being put on brief lockdown Monday night. But some students said increased security would help so something like this does not happen again.
"When I heard about it I was like, 'Who thought it was cool just to come and shoot up the place?'” sophomore Katherine Thompson said.
According to a university official, the incident happened off campus behind the Harrold Complex, a university dorm around 10 p.m. The campus was on lockdown for about an hour.
Maleisha Thompson was walking back to her dorm when she heard gunshots go off.
“Out of nowhere, we just heard some shots firing and I was like ‘Oh my god! Oh my god!’ and the people at the front desk, they told us to come back into the building and they’re like it’s a shooting,” Thompson said.
Many of the students said this was their first time hearing someone shooting a gun near campus. Most said they have never felt unsafe before.
"I was glad I wasn't on campus, but I was pretty nervous because I do go here so I was just glad everyone was okay,” Trae Dimanche said.
Some students said they have always felt safe on campus, even after Monday night's incident.
"I feel safe. Campus police and guards, they do a good job and make sure everything is alright and they always around,” Dennis Brunson said.
One student said she would like to see some type of barrier built around the campus, keeping outsiders from getting in.
"The campus overall just needs to be gated up. That way if kids go off campus, they swipe to go out the gate and swipe to get in the gate. That way it would be more safe instead of just having regular cars passing through here,” Maleisha Thompson said. “Just strangers just think they can come up and use things like the library. It’s not for the community. It’s just for the college.”
While Monday's incident left many scared, things quickly turned back to normal as students say they felt a heavier police presence the next day.
"I didn't even know there was crime back there but I guess It'll keep it down more. I think this campus is well policed so I feel confident the students on campus are safe,” Trae Dimanche said.
We reached out to the UAPB Police Department to see if anyone was injured in the incident, but we were forwarded to a campus official who could only confirm a shots fired incident occurred near campus grounds.
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