Story by Beth LeValley
A man was shot and killed on 21st Street and Forest Avenue on Thursday, leaving some Drake students concerned for their safety. Drake Security did not alert campus of the incident.
The man was shot Thursday around 6:30 p.m.
After being taken to a hospital, he was pronounced dead Thursday night.
Detectives are still investigating what happened and no suspects have been identified.
It was the eleventh homicide in Des Moines this year.
Students voiced their opinions on safety at Drake University. First-year student Rhiana Williams said she learned about the incident from other students.
“I’m scared that the conflicts off campus will interfere on campus,” Williams said. “I’m also scared that there will be a domino effect since there wasn’t as many events at the beginning of the year. I’m worried if there will be a maximum point reached.”
Williams said she hopes Drake Security and the Des Moines police have a good relationship and maintain contact.
“I get scared when I wake up for rowing and see people walking their dog in the dark at 5 a.m.,” Williams said. “Since these events, I’m going to think about different social events that happen on that side of campus, but I also won’t be an idiot and walk alone at night or go somewhere without a group.”
Mitch Kirby, another first-year student, said he doesn’t worry as much about security around campus.
“They’re doing a good job now, and they informed us that they were stepping up security, which I think is a good move on their part. They can’t do anything more,” Kirby said.
Some students would like to be more informed of violence happening near Drake.
Junior Emily Gutknecht said she would rather know and worry about violent incidents to stay safe around campus.
“I would rather have Drake security send me too many emails that I can very easily delete, than have them decide what I may or may not deem a ‘threat’ to my safety,” Gutknecht said.
“I know that for security to send out the phone, text and email alerts takes a lot of coordination and signing off from a lot of people, so they don’t want to be doing that all the time. On the other hand, I don’t think it would be difficult for the chief or Drake to send out an email to the student body a few hours after something happens,” Gutknecht said.
Gutknecht also expressed concern about students living off-campus and said she wishes Drake Security would consider students who live in the Des Moines area.
“In terms of patrolling campus, I think Drake security does a great job. Every time I walk around campus I see at least one office no matter what time of day it is. They do an awesome job of responding to calls and the needs of students,” Gutknecht said.
Some first-year students wished they knew more about what the security does to keep Drake safe,
“Their title is ‘security,’ which makes me feel safe, but I don’t know how good they are in reality,” said first-year Elene Maloletko. “I wish they would make their services more known to the public.”