A couple of pieces in the local media I thought I’d share:
From mLive comes “In wake of EMU student’s shooting, mayor says city must address safety concerns at apartments.” Here’s a long quote from that piece that I think covers a lot of territory in what’s going on here:
Ypsilanti police Detective Sgt. Tom Eberts said the shot was fired about 1:40 a.m. outside the apartment complex, but police aren’t sure where it came from. The bullet went through an exterior wall and struck the woman in the shoulder. She suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Pain in her left shoulder woke the student up, and doctors at a local hospital removed a bullet.
Many people called police to report multiple shots fired. Police said a blue Mustang is a possible vehicle of interest.
Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber said more work needs to be done to “get things under control there.”
“We need to keep putting pressure there,” Schreiber said, referring to Peninsular Place, as well as the Leforge Road area. “Crime tends to have a hotspot and tends to travel around. We need to have visibility and presence. That will reduce the issues. We need to work collaboratively to do that. I don’t blame the apartment complex, but they certainly have to be partners.
“From the city’s standpoint both Eastern Michigan University and the city are working very well together and contacting the apartment complexes and doing everything we can to improve the safety and improve the perception of safety and just have a presence there.”
Then there’s this from mLive, “EMU students’ safety fears grow after student shot at off-campus apartment.” A lot of this article is about the perceived safety (or lack thereof) of Ypsilanti and EMU. We’ve talked about this a lot here before, so I won’t go into it now. I will say the comments on this piece are unusually reasonable for mLive, and I think “wert12″ has a pretty good point about the somewhat unique problem of Peninsular Place. Even though it isn’t at all affiliated with EMU, the complex does all it can to give the impression that it’s associated with EMU, and EMU doesn’t do much to stop that:
Peninsular Place was the main sponsor for the Eagle Card athletics promotion. When you visited the EMU Athletics site, the link to the apartment complex was on the site. And the Peninsular Place website CLEARLY gives the impression they are student housing. They have also had whole-page ads in the Eastern Echo paper on campus.
I’m not blaming EMU for the crime occurring at the complex, but there was definitely an impression given that this place was either affiliated, approved or endorsed by EMU.
I don’t know if there’s much EMU can do about the proximity of that complex to campus (maybe buy it, but that’s probably not in the cards), and EMU probably can’t do much to stop Peninsular Place falsely advertising itself as being safe for students. But EMU (and that would include The Echo) doesn’t have to take their advertising.
And EMU needs to do a lot more with this Off-Campus Housing web site. Providing a couple of links to apartment review services does not really give off-campus students a lot of information.
Hot off the electronic press this morning from mLive is “EMU student struck by stray bullet in off-campus apartment: ‘I thought I was going to die.’” It’s an account of the shooting from its victim, EMU student Destinee Leapheart. I thought the headline was a little much, but as Leapheart tells the story, it kind of makes sense. I mean, if I was asleep or just hanging out at 2 AM and suddenly felt a pain in my shoulder and realized I’d just been shot, I probably would panic and think I was going to die too.
Interestingly enough, she and her roommate tried to get out of their lease with Peninsular Place apartments because of all of these safety concerns, but no dice.