In our own backyard

A shooting at a nearby SuperAmerica provokes conversations about safety on campus.

It was nearly midnight on Sunday, Oct. 29, when a 26-year-old man sitting inside his vehicle in the parking lot of the SuperAmerica gas station on the corner of Minnehaha and Snelling avenues was shot repeatedly in the upper body by another man, who was standing outside. After the incident, the victim sped off and drove East until he was able to flag down an ambulance. Although his injuries proved to be non-life-threatening, the perpetrator is still at large.

For many students in the Hamline community, the occurrence hit too close to home. First-year student Chloe Dufault was shopping at Leo’s Corner in Anderson Center, right across the street from the SuperAmerica, moments before the shots were fired.

“I walked out, I heard the first shot, and then I saw it… I was literally about to go to [SuperAmerica] because [Leo’s Corner] didn’t have what I wanted,” Dufault said. “[The suspect] was [standing] in a shooting stance like what you’d see in the movies. He was just shooting at the car, then he ran off, and then the car drove off. I literally didn’t even believe it. I just felt like I was in a dream for a second. It was unreal.”

Upon witnessing the violence, Dufault ran back into Anderson Center and called 911 to describe what she had seen. Shortly after, she received a text from her roommate regarding the shooting.

“We live in Sorin [Hall],” Dufault said. “They could hear it perfectly. Since Anderson is a newer building with thicker windows, I’m not sure they could hear it.”

Since the shooting, Dufault said she’s developed further awareness of her surroundings and is more apprehensive about casually walking around campus and the surrounding area, especially at night.

“At the beginning of the [school] year, I would park my car on the street and didn’t think twice about walking back to my dorm… [Witnessing the shooting] makes me thankful for [Safety &] Security and makes me want to take advantage of them more.”

Other students weren’t as fazed by the shooting.

“It didn’t take place on campus, and it wasn’t intended to hurt anyone on campus… It was just two guys that had a problem with one another,” first-year Drew Mares said.

Sophomore Taissa Duperval concurred with Mares, finding that she wasn’t very startled by the situation.

“I don’t get startled in that type of situation,” Duperval said, explaining that she was used to hearing about similar incidents, living in Minneapolis herself. “I guess I’m desensitized.”

First-year William Rittgers displayed ambivalence regarding the incident.

“[The Snelling area] isn’t exactly the safest neighborhood, but does Hamline and the surrounding area have a history of this happening? If it was a more common occurrence, then I would definitely be more worried about it, but theoretically, it can happen anywhere,” Rittgers said. “I find it ironic that there was a shooting at a place called SuperAmerica, ‘cause the word super implies that it’s, you know, good.”

While Hamline students may have contradictory views on the shooting’s pertinence to safety on campus, it should raise awareness that Safety & Security is always a valuable resource should they feel uncomfortable in any particular situation. If students or faculty notice anything suspicious near or on campus, Safety & Security can be reached at 651-523-2100.