Homicides shake DC university campuses, prompting urgent meetings with police

Within the past three weeks, there have been a total of three homicides on or near a D.C. university Campus. 

Leaders from Catholic University called for an emergency meeting with D.C. police, Tuesday following an incident where a man was shot several times near the campus Monday evening. Police said the victim later died at the hospital.

The recent crimes on university campuses, however, isn’t isolated to Catholic University. Less than two miles away at Howard University, a construction worker was killed on school grounds. 


Construction worker shot, killed during attempted robbery on Howard University campus: police

The man who was shot and killed at Howard University Thursday morning has been identified by police as 34-year-old Rafael Adolfo Gomez.

The victim was 34-year-old Rafael Gomez, who according to D.C. police, was shot during an attempted robbery on the campus near 6th Street. 

"That morning was a wakeup call to me," said Vency Haynes, a faculty member at Howard University.

On Thursday, July 13, Vency Haynes broke her habit of taking the metro to work, and decided to call a Lyft instead.

"Come to find out, as soon as I got to work, I find out this guy was killed on the same route I take to work every morning," Haynes recalled, noting that the route is a popular one for faculty and students traveling between the metro and campus,

Haynes recognizes "that could’ve been any one of us."  

This is the sentiment staff and students share on campuses all around D.C. 

"It’s a little worrying. I don’t want to go on the metro or around this area after dark." said David Keatley, a graduate student at Catholic University. 

Two weeks ago, a teacher from Kentucky, who was visiting D.C. with family, was on his way to the Metro when he was killed on Catholic University’s campus. 


Kentucky high school teacher shot, killed at Catholic University

A high school teacher from Kentucky was shot and killed on the campus of Catholic University in D.C. Wednesday after police say an argument turned violent.

The suspected shooter is currently being held without bond and is expected to appear in court on Thursday the 20th. On the other hand, the shootings at Howard University and the most recent one at Catholic University on Monday night, remain under investigation.

Catholic University is also reporting that a recent graduate was assaulted off-campus by two people on the 3000 block of 7th street the afternoon of Thursday, July 13.

The suspects allegedly held and repeatedly punched the victim, chipping his tooth. The suspects then stole his IPhone, wallet and laptop before escaping, according to the school. 

Catholic University is calling for an emergency meeting with D.C. police’s 4th and 5th districts to "address the serious concerns we have about the crime that has occurred just footsteps away from our campus." 

At Howard University, leaders share general safety tips with the Bison community, but Haynes believes the university can step up their security.

"That should be the press, to get more security and beef up our safety measures because it’s such an open campus," Haynes said.