Students React to Rash of Violence

September 3, 2012 Updated Sep 3, 2012 at 6:47 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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September 3, 2012 Updated Sep 3, 2012 at 6:47 PM EDT


Buffalo, NY (WKBW) -- Two separate robberies of Buffalo State students have raised serious concerns over student safety.

Especially alarming to students: in both instances the victims were travelling in groups -- a safety tip recommended by the college.

The two robberies occurred just hours apart near Buffalo State College.

Friday night, Jabril Muhammed and two friends were on their way to get food. While at Grant and Potomac, they were beaten and robbed by five suspects. When the victims ran away, the suspects opened fire, shooting Muhammed.

His father, Larry Muhammed Senior, tells Eyewitness News "When you send your child to college, you don't hope to get a call in the middle of the night stating that your child has been beaten, robbed and then shot."

Hours later, robbers stole two women's purses at Richmond and Dorchester.

The back to back crimes are unnerving to some students.

Sam Mines, a senior, says "There's maybe one thing a year you hear about ... It may not be related to a student on campus. But never anything like this."

Buffalo State College sent out a campus alert, reminding students to travel in groups and be aware of surroundings.

However, students say they travel in groups a lot.

On campus, Mines says students feel very safe.

They're seeing extra campus police on hand.

Buffalo Police say as classes begin, they're stepping up patrol in the area too.

Police are also reminding students not just to travel in groups, but be aware of surroundings and try to cut out any distractions. That means no phone calls, texting or listening to music. They add if you see anything suspicious, call 9-1-1.

Martina Peeples, a freshman, says "I was scared because I had just gotten home and I'm just happy that I wasn't on that street or anywhere near there."

Students say freshman unknowingly often travel down areas more prone to violence.

Police say they still haven't made any arrests, but freshman worry this is all happening during their first week at school.

Peeples adds, "I'm nervous because I'm new at this and still figuring out what's going on."

Upper classmen like Mines and Roseline Sanon say despite the crimes, they believe students will continue going out. Sanon says "I think everyone's going to keep doing the same things ... Just be more aware of their surroundings."

Police at Buffalo State College also encourage students to use the Safe Escort Program, which is free of charge. The number for that is 878-6333.