Chowan students robbed at gunpoint

Published 2:35 pm Monday, September 30, 2019

MURFREESBORO – For the second straight weekend the Chowan University campus has been rattled by criminal activity.

The latest incident occurred Saturday evening, Sept. 28, when three students reported being robbed at gunpoint. No one was injured in the incident.

According to information provided by Chowan officials, the students were robbed of their cell phones and a debit card by a trio of unidentified individuals. The robbery was reported to have occurred near Dunn Hall, a residential dorm located along the circular drive near the main entrance to the campus.

“Descriptions of the three suspects (one with a firearm), were shared with Murfreesboro Police,” said a University official in a statement that was sent out to Chowan students, staff, and faculty. “Our students walked back to their residence, Parker Hall [located off Union Street], and called law enforcement.”

The CUHawkAlert stated the incident occurred at Parker Hall, but it was near Dunn Hall.

The University issued a shelter in place notice at 10:08 pm on Saturday and that status was lifted at 11:54 pm after a complete sweep of campus. Even then, the alert message contained a caution to remain vigilant.

“The safety of our students, faculty, and staff remain our highest priority,” the statement read.

Murfreesboro Police, Chowan Campus Police, Ahoskie Police, and Hertford County Sheriff’s all responded. Police dogs were used to assist in the search.

Murfreesboro Police Chief David Griffith said they were the first to arrive on the scene.

“We had three victims, three suspects, one supposed weapon,” Griffith told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald on Monday.

Griffith said the investigation was then turned over to University Police Chief Derrick Burke to continue identifying the suspects.

“Students, staff, and faculty need to remain vigilant and they need to not be afraid to pick up the phone if they see something,” said Griffith, who urged people to continue to take precautions such as locking their cars, traveling in groups, and calling police or campus security if they see something suspicious or need an escort.

“Our main goal is to keep all these students and staff and visitors safe,” he continued, noting that that work is a partnership between the MPD and the university police. “We take that commitment very seriously.”

Those with information regarding this situation are encouraged to contact Chowan University Campus Police at 252-398-1234 or call 9-1-1.

This crime came on the heels of a “shots fired” call in the early morning hours of Sunday, Sept. 22. The shots were fired at around 2:25 a.m. outside Whites Crossing, an area of student residential housing located along Union Street on the south end of the campus. Damage was reported there to real and personal property.

A little over one hour later, Chowan Campus Police arrested Kahlil Williams-Cook of Hampton, VA and Jamonte Smith of Newport News, VA in an area along Union Street near Cotton Street. Neither are Chowan students.

Williams-Cooke was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a weapon on school grounds, and resisting a public officer.

Smith faces a charge of resisting a public officer.

No one was injured in that incident. However, two students were injured off-campus last weekend and were treated and released from area medical facilities. The off-campus incident occurred in Northampton County and is being investigated by law enforcement officials in that jurisdiction.

(Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Staff Writer Holly Taylor added to this story.)

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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