Shots were heard coming from one or multiple cars heading north on Central Avenue outside the Walter Cronkite School shortly after 2:00 a.m. Monday morning, according to multiple witnesses.
A white SUV and another vehicle were driving north on Central Avenue and passed by the Cronkite School’s building before five or six shots were heard from the area where Central intersects with Fillmore Street, said journalism sophomore Alan Hersh.
ASU police aids confirmed that a white SUV was spotted and that several shots were heard but refused to comment further on the situation.
Hersh said he was sitting outside of the Cronkite building on Taylor Mall and packing up his hookah equipment when he heard loud shouting that prompted him to look up. He said he saw a white SUV and another unidentifiable car speed north past the Cronkite building on Central Avenue and out of his line of vision before he heard the shots moments later.
Bradly Hunter, a dietetics sophomore, had been outside with Hersh but said he was walking back to Taylor Place when he heard the shots. Hunter said he heard about five shots fired in his general direction from the intersection of Central Avenue and Fillmore Street and believes one or two bullets may have hit Taylor Place.
“I ran and just hit the ground,” Hunter said. “The shots were ten feet away probably. When I heard the shouting and the pings I thought they were shooting at the people at Taylor Place.”
Both Hersh and Hunter said this was their first time they’ve felt unsafe living in downtown Phoenix. Both are residents of Taylor Place and lived on campus last year as well.
Hunter said the experience rattled him.
“Your heart starts racing,” Hunter said. “I’m not going to take sitting outside and smoking for granted.”
Jay Spradling, assistant chief of the ASU Police Department, said in an e-mail that ASU police was unable to find or confirm or find any evidence to support that shots were fired on Monday morning.
“There has not been a single eyewitness come forward, there were no shell casings found in the roadway, there is no damage to any building or property, etc.,” Spradling said in an e-mail. “Even our staff that were working last night heard some muffled noises, but could not confirm that it was gunshots.”
A similar incident was reported almost exactly two years ago on the morning of Oct. 5, 2008, during the first year the new downtown Cronkite building and Taylor Place residence hall were open.
Downtown students reported hearing gunshots fired south from Pierce Street, two block north of Taylor Place. While a report was filed on damage done to the Cronkite building as a result of the shooting, Phoenix police reported the incident involved nightclub patrons and was unrelated to ASU.
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This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: October 18, 2010
An earlier version of this article ran with the headline “Gunshots fired outside of Cronkite School” and stated that gunshots had been fired outside of the Walter Cronkite School. At about 4 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 18, ASU police notified the Downtown Devil that they could not confirm gunshots were fired outside of the Walter Cronkite School, and since then, the headline and parts of the story have been changed to reflect that a gunshot was not definitely fired and that shots were only heard.