Bullet penetrates residence hall window: An ‘odd occurrence’

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Photo by Sheila Fogarty

The Commons window was penetrated by a bullet Feb. 17.

Shortly before midnight Feb. 16, a stray bullet entered an eighth floor window of The Commons residence hall on the Wells St. Hall side. 

None of The Commons’ 500 undergraduate residents were injured in the incident.

The one thing I have to stress is it’s a very odd occurrence,” Marquette University Police Department Assistant Chief Jeff Kranz said. “In my time (with MUPD), I’m not aware of it ever happening.”  

The bullet originated from a shooting exchanged between two vehicles traveling north on 17th Street near W. Highland Ave., Kranz said. Shots were fired northbound from one vehicle and southbound from the other. One particular round fired southbound reached The Commons, penetrating the window of a study room.  

The location of the shooting is less than half a mile from The Commons. 

“In this instance, (MUPD) first started by clearing the building to make sure there were no other strikes and that there were no injuries sustained,” Kranz said. “Our first focus was the students’ safety.”  

Because the shooting transpired beyond MUPD’s patrol zone, the incident is being further investigated by the Milwaukee Police Department, Kranz said. As a result, MUPD has been able to better manage the aftermath of the situation.  

Kranz, among other MUPD officers, visited The Commons on multiple occasions last week to answer any questions or concerns students may have had regarding the incident.  

“After hearing the news, more than anything, I was shocked,” Cala Ohser, a first-year student in the College of Arts & Sciences, said. “You hear things like this happen off-campus which is obviously horrible, but for it to happen on campus is totally different.”

 Marquette University’s March for Our Lives chapter issued a statement on Instagram Feb. 17 regarding the incident. The post read: “While fortunately no one was injured in the crossfire, this senseless shooting endangered our entire community … We call on Marquette University, MUPD, and our lawmakers to take active measures in preventing future events.”

March for Our Lives is a national student-led movement against gun violence.

I think something like this will likely never happen again, and it’s important we don’t have an irrational fear of bullets flying through dorms,” Linnea Stanton, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said

Stanton is the Midwest regional organizing director for March for Our Lives, responsible for supervising the formation of new MFOL chapters in seven states. 

“We live in a world where gun violence happens on a day-to-day basis, and at Marquette, that violence isn’t far away,” Stanton said. “It important to be aware of our surroundings.”  

In 2017, the most recent year of complete data, there were roughly 14,716 gun-related homicides in the United States, according to the Center for Disease ControlThis total averages out to about 40 homicides by firearms each day.  

In the city of Milwaukee, there have been 18 homicides in 2020 so far, which is six more than last year around this time, according to tracking data provided by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

“Gun violence on and around campus has always been an issue,” Stanton said. “But I think this incident will draw more light on the topic.” 

This story was written by Nicole Laudolff. She can be reached at nicole.laudolff@marquette.edu.