Duquesne University Attempts Normalcy After Shooting

While the typically peaceful Duquesne University campus tries to return to a sense of normalcy there are constant reminders of last week’s shocking shooting of five student basketball players.

In response to the incident after a university sanctioned dance that left five students with gunshot wounds, the administration has enhanced security measures. President Charles Dougherty told students, faculty and staff, “Despite a very strong history of being a safe campus, it is incumbent that we continue to strengthen security measures.” Just a few of those upgrades include a $250,000 allocation for additional permanent state-certified police as well as two mobile metal detectors and five wand metal detectors.

Despite its urban setting Duquesne University has had very little crime to speak of to date. The institution is situated in downtown Pittsburgh but is a very compact campus. In fact, in the last three years the school’s Department of Public Safety reports one illegal weapons possession, two on campus robberies and four instances of aggravated assault.

Walking on campus this week nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Students walked to class chatting and laughing, ran track to keep in shape and Saturday’s home football game against Sacred Heart gave the Dukes a 24-21 victory. However, a few minutes before kickoff there was a “moment of reflection” for the victims still reeling from the shooting and talking to students proved everyone could recount where they were when the shooting started.

According to Allegheny Court records 18 year-old William Baynes has been charged with five counts of aggravated assault, five counts of attempted homicide and carrying an unlicensed firearm. His bail was denied. Brandon Baynes faces similar charges but was issued a $250,000 bail.

Duquesne sophomore Brittany Jones was suspended and also faces charges for her role in the shooting including reckless endangerment, criminal conspiracy and carrying a firearm without a license. Jones transferred to Duquesne from Xavier University last year after being displaced due to Hurricane Katrina.

All three suspects will face a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Meanwhile, one of two victims that remained hospitalized this week has been released from Mercy Hospital. Stuard Baldonado suffered gunshot wounds to his back and arm. The most critically injured player, Sam Ashaolu, was upgraded Friday from critical to serious condition.

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