October 26, 2015

Langston shooting creates safety concerns

By Reese Shebel

Although no one was hurt in the East 24th Street shootout on Oct. 3 near The Langston apartments across from the Cleveland State University campus, students are responding with mixed feelings of fear and surprise.

According to police reports, bullets hit the side of the building and a window as two cars fired around 20 bullets at each other around 2:25 a.m.

The shootout wasn’t just another hard news story, but an event that touched many peoples’ personal lives, including my own.

In the last couple of months, the increase in crime on campus is forcing students and residents of Cleveland to increase our awareness and also to be more conscious of our surroundings.

Cleveland State senior and Langston resident Allie Campbell was walking home from the Greyhound station on Chester Avenue around 2:45 a.m. on the night of the shootout.

“It’s scary knowing that the apartment I’ve lived at since my sophomore year isn’t as safe as I thought it had been,” Campbell said. “I’ve walked the same route past hoodlums before and never really thought twice about it.”

The alert from Cleveland State that was sent out on the morning of the occurrence startled many students, including Campbell.

“I would definitely have been terrified walking home had I seen or heard any news of a shooting but it seemed just like a normal night,” Campbell said. “It was eye-opening seeing the alert in the morning.”

In the future, Campbell will be taking advantage of cabs or prearranging rides from friends if she knows she will have a far journey home at night.

Other students who live in The Langston agree that they have not been as cautious as they should be in an urban environment.

“I’ve always felt safe where I live,” Laura Karle, a senior at Cleveland State, said. “It was really sudden and unexpected that something like this happened around our school and my apartment.”

Even though students and residents of the area are shocked and frightened, the shootout has created a natural awareness of safety and being alert in the city.

As a Langston resident, I find myself thinking and acting more carefully than I did prior to the incident.
I was always warned to be careful in Cleveland before I came to school here, but I grew too comfortable since I’ve lived downtown for three years.

Something as simple as putting away my phone to stay free from distraction can make a huge difference while walking down the street, and I plan on keeping it out of sight to avoid drawing attention to myself.

If it’s late in the night, I can plan a route that keeps me in well-lit and populated areas, like Euclid Avenue near the campus and on East 4th Street.

Even though there is no guarantee that doing these things will protect me from crime in the city, anything I can do to look alert, confident and secure will only help me.

Having this incident occur should not just be a cause for fear among the community, but rather something to make us more alert and mindful of our surroundings.


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