Students robbed at gunpoint inside Tower 2 dorm room
UPD says crime was not random act committed by strangers to the campus
Buffalo State issued a campus safety alert early Thursday morning after two students were robbed at gunpoint in their dorm room in the Tower Two Residence Hall.
According to the alert, three men entered the dorm room on the tenth floor of Tower Two at 3:50 a.m., pulled out a silver handgun and demanded money from the victims. The three men were all described as wearing masks, gloves, pants and black hooded sweatshirts, according to the alert.
No one was hurt in the incident, which police do not believe was a random act, said Police Chief Peter Carey of the University Police Department.
"It appears the robbery was targeted," he said. "[Toward] either the people or the room."
While the robbery took place at 3:50 a.m., police were not notified of the crime until 4:16 a.m., 26 minutes after the incident, Carey said.
Video surveillance footage from Tower Two is being reviewed, Carey said, as well as a log of who used key fobs to enter Tower Two around the time of the incident.
"Only residents of the hall have the fob to get in," he said. "Video will help us see who exited and entered the building. It'll help lead the investigation."
In addition, police also interviewed the victims of the crime twice today, once immediately following the incident, and later in the day to get as much information as possible.
"We're processing the crime scene, and then we'll regroup and see where we are," Carey said.
Campus safety alerts and violence have been a common occurrence so far this fall semester, including a recent sexual assault on campus, leaving some students uneasy. That's totally reasonable, Carey said, but the incidents on campus have been premeditated.
"The two most recent incidents on campus are not something where it appears to be a stranger coming in," he said. "They're not a random act of violence."
In an email to registered students, Vice President of Student Affairs Hal Payne tried to assuage fears on campus surrounding the incident, as well as remind students that the school is there for them.
"Buffalo State is a community of people who care about and care for each other," he wrote in the email. "We are concerned about and committed to your safety."
Payne also provided several phone numbers in the email, including his own, that students could call if they are feeling uncomfortable on campus.
For now, the UPD will have an increased presence on campus, especially around the residence halls.
With homecoming weekend coming up, an increased presence was already being planned, but will now extend past this weekend, Carey said.
"We'll have an increased presence to provide safety and reassure the campus community," he said.
Michael Canfield can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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