Drake Students Not Alerted to Friday Homicide

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Drake University (WHO-HD)

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Students at Drake University were in the dark when it came to the Friday night homicide that happened just blocks from campus, and, for a little while, so was Drake's Department of Public Safety.

Usually the department sends out Bulldog Alerts via text or email when these types of crimes take place, but did not when 41-year-old Stephen Pausuan Kim was shot and killed at 3523 University Avenue.

“I'm very worried that they didn't send out a Bulldog Alert," said junior Megan Mowery. "I mean, to have someone shot a few blocks away from campus is kind of terrifying, and the fact that it happened days ago and I didn't find out about it until today is really scary, and I'm very confused about it.”

Mowery did not hear about the homicide until her professor mentioned something about it on Monday morning. Drake Public Safety Director Scott Law says his department didn't hear about the shooting over their police scanner, and did not get it confirmed by one of their officers until almost three hours later.

“We try to get alerts out in a timely fashion so our students can use that information for their own safety. After that much time passed, we didn't think that there was an imminent reason to send that out," said Law. "The feeling was that putting out information that the shooting had occurred, sure the students could have learned that, but we wouldn't have been able to give them any actual information about who to look out for."

Law says after they learned about the homicide there was a heavy police presence in the area and officers would have notified any students they saw.

For some students, that is enough.

“I trust Drake Public Safety to make decisions in our best interest, because they do a very good job” said junior Andrew Sobczak.

Other students wish they had been given more information.

“I think it's important for us to just know, regardless of whether it directly impacted students, I think it's still important to know. And I think for it to happen so close to campus, it's worrisome,” said Mowery.

“Just, like, letting people know, like, this is what happened, here's where it happened, maybe stay away from there for a while would have been good, especially because someone died,” said junior Nya Makaza.

Law says if public safety would have known about the homicide within 15 minutes or half an hour of the incident occurring, they “absolutely” would have sent out a notification.

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