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Alabama A&M University

Alabama A&M University’s campus in Huntsville. | Source: Facebook.com/aamuedu

A campus police officer at a historically Black college (HBCU) in Alabama shot an armed student in a residence hall in a reported shootout on Monday afternoon, according to law enforcement reports..

Alabama A&M shooting

An unidentified Alabama A&M University (AAMU) student was shot multiple times in a stairwell of the Ernest L. Knight Living and Learning Complex after the officer responded to reports of shots being fired in the dormitory building in Huntsville, AAMU Police Chief Montrez Payton said.

“Multiple shots were exchanged in that stairwell,” Payton told reporters. “An individual was hit multiple times.”

The AAMU police officer involved was not injured.

The student was hospitalized, though their status was not immediately clear.

AAMU said in a statement that the incident “was contained within minutes.”

“This incident once again brought stress and uncertainty to our campus community,” the statement added. “Today’s climate continues to present safety challenges to colleges and universities but, AAMU is committed to enhancing overall safety for students, faculty and staff.”

The school said it was offering counseling services to students and directed any future inquiries about the shooting to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, which is investigating the incident.

The Ernest L. Knight Living and Learning Complex is the same place where at least three people were injured in a shooting in August of last year, AL.com reported at the time.

The shooting was the latest gun violence to strike an HBCU campus during this academic year amid ongoing calls to further secure all historically Black colleges.

HBCU security

The topic of HBCU security was brought to the forefront last year when a white supremacist shooting was thwarted by campus security at Edward Waters University in Jacksonville, Florida. Ryan Palmeter was observed by students putting on tactical gear, including an armored vest, gloves and a mask, before fleeing as campus security approached. Minutes later, the 21-year-old carried out a racist mass shooting at a nearby Dollar General store.

That shooting prompted a national call for more funding for HBCU security, particularly at a time when dozens of Black colleges were just months removed from a spate of bomb threats.

Last month, South Carolina State University took steps to beef up its campus security weeks after a shooting in an academic building left a student facing charges of attempted murder.

The Orangeburg-based school made a significant investment in keeping its community safe by adding a gun-sniffing dog to the ranks of its campus security team.

While acknowledging other universities that have added gun-sniffing dogs, President Alexander Conyers suggested South Carolina State could help make it a trend among Black colleges looking to ramp up their security efforts.

“Other universities in South Carolina and across the country already are using these capabilities,” Conyers said. “We may be the first HBCU in the country to employ this technology, so we are on the forefront, but I feel sure we won’t be the last.”

Last summer, Howard University responded to a vicious melee that broke out near its residence halls. As a result, Howard still said it planned to install more than 1,000 cameras across campus, install card readers to control access to certain campus buildings, bolster its security with an armed officer stationed in front of residence buildings and supply students with an emergency device they can use to call for help.

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Alabama A&M Shooting: Gun Violence Strikes Another HBCU Campus Amid Ongoing Efforts To Stop It  was originally published on newsone.com