No arrests after shooting, but escorts up at U

  • Article by: ABBY SIMONS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 27, 2010 - 9:43 PM

Grainy surveillance images of suspects have yielded little information in Monday's U robberies and shooting.

University of Minnesota police say their initial review of surveillance footage has yielded only grainy images of two men who robbed three women before shooting a student late Monday outside his dormitory.

The events caused the number of students requesting volunteer escorts on campus to quadruple, university officials said.

On Tuesday night, 54 people requested escorts from trained student volunteers, compared with 13 on Monday night, before word of the violence spread, the officials said.

About 100 students attended a safety forum Tuesday at Centennial Hall dormitory.

The 19-year-old male shooting victim was in satisfactory condition Wednesday at Hennepin County Medical Center. Police said the robbers, "without provocation," shot him in the chest with a small-caliber gun outside Centennial Hall just after 11 p.m.

The student, who said Tuesday that he is recovering well, asked not to be identified out of concern for his safety.

The shooting followed robberies of three female students, the first at 10:50 p.m. in the 500 block of Huron Blvd. SE., and the second at 11:07 p.m., as two students were walking near Moos Hall when two men robbed them of their cell phones and backpacks before fleeing toward dormitories, said deputy University Police Chief Chuck Miner. The women told police that seconds later they heard a pop.

The shooting victim said he was walking when the suspects approached him, and one said something. When he turned around, one of the men shot him in the chest, and they ran east. Miner said the men didn't try to rob the student before shooting him. He made his way into the lobby of Centennial Hall, where students and staff helped him until an ambulance arrived.

Miner said investigators pored over thousands of images from university cameras and found some that showed the suspects as they fled eastbound through campus. However, the images yielded "nothing crystal clear," Miner said. He added that should investigators find images that might aid in identifying the men, they will be publicized.

Investigators also were sifting through tips, including those from students who apparently saw the suspects and even the shooting, said Miner.

The suspects both were described as light-skinned black men, 18 to 20 years old, with slim builds. One was said to be about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with acne scars on his face. He wore a black puffy jacket, black pants and a stocking cap. He carried a handgun.

The other was described as about 5 feet 8 inches tall. He, too, wore a black jacket and may have carried a handgun.

Abby Simons • 612-673-4921

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