Shortly before 11 pm on Sunday night, shots were fired directly outside Alumni Hall. The altercation, reportedly a bar fight, left no one hurt, and no one affiliated with NYU was involved. Cops appeared almost immediately after the incident and swarmed the area, marking it with police tape, said one resident of Alumni.
Antoinette Chang, a sophomore, rushed to her window after receiving a call from a friend.
“We looked out the window and could see sirens – lights – flashing,” said Whitney Meer, her suitemate. “All the security guards were standing at the front door, looking very worried. We went outside, then back in.”
Though ultimately no one was harmed, the fear students felt was very real.
“The first thing I did was text [my parents] that, if they heard about it, I was fine,” said Meer. “After that, I wanted to know that everyone – in the dorm – was OK. And then I wanted to know what was happening.”
Already made aware of the incident, Meer and her dormmates received an automated call from public safety reassuring them that nobody at NYU had been involved.
Onlookers reported to an NYU Local writer that they saw muzzle flashes, four people running away from the scene, and at least three “cups” on the ground – meaning that three shells or more had been fired. No one was “visibly hurt or detained.”
NYU students tweeted throughout the incident, one writing that she felt “safe” knowing there was no NYU involvement. Others complained about not receiving the University alert. (Most disturbingly, one complained about being woken up at 1 am by a text from the university.)
John Beckman, NYU’s VP of public affairs, explained why only some students got the text alert. It was sent only to the residents of the five nearby dorms: Alumni Hall, Brittany Hall, Coral Tower, Founders Hall, and Palladium Hall. ”If you weren’t a resident of one of these residence halls, you shouldn’t have received it,” Beckman said. “If there are students who didn’t receive the notifications who are in one of these residence halls, we definitely want to know: we’d want to sort out if there was some problem with our system, or whether it was a phone registration problem, or something else.”