Rash of shootings near MTSU’s campus leave students, police concerned

(Photo: WKRN)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – There has been a rash of shootings near the Middle Tennessee State University campus in Murfreesboro, leaving students concerned.

The police department is also doing its part to put an end to the recent violence.

One of the latest shootings was the attempted murder of Justin Jefferson, 28, just off campus on Elrod Street Saturday night.

He was taken to Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital and later transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center. His grandfather, Troy Howard, says Jefferson is doing okay.

Witnesses told police there was an argument between a woman and one of the shooters. The woman ran into Jefferson’s apartment.

“Because he wouldn’t let him in, him and some other guy shot him twice,” Howard said.

Police arrested two suspects.

“I’m glad police got to them before any of my other people got to him because they were looking for them,” the grandfather said.

This is just one of many shootings which has occurred in neighborhood surrounding the MTSU campus. There have also been reports of shots fired calls near campus as well.

“It definitely makes you become aware of your surrounding with it being so close to campus,” MTSU student Quay Scott said.

Scott walks past at least two of the shooting scenes to get to his off-campus apartments. He said the shootings are getting too close to home.

“… You could possibly think what if, you know, it goes over to campus and becomes one of those things, so it’s something to become conscious aware about,” Scott said.

Even though none of the recent shootings have occurred on campus, MTSU police said it’s a major concern, especially since they are happening so close.

“Any time you have reports of violence around campus, it’s certainly something we take seriously with some of our thoughts and some of our conversation about how we can continue to do a really good job with our on campus constituents,” said MTSU Police Chief Buddy Peaster.

MTSU police’s sub-station is directly across the street from the attempted homicide this past weekend. The chief said they work closely with Murfreesboro police providing help when an incident happens near campus.

Murfreesboro police told News 2 while there have been arrests made, the incidents are of serious concern to department officials. Strategies have been identified, which include high visibility patrols and enforcement in the area, while the investigations into these incidents continue.

“The MPD has zero tolerance for anyone shooting a gun at a person or residence,” said Murfreesboro Police Chief Karl Durr. “We are devoting serious resources to combat these recent acts of violence and their underlying causes.”