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Shots fired incident reported on Hardy Drive early Saturday morning

Light gray sedan seen by officers leaving the scene shortly after the incident

<p>After officers arrived at the 800 block of Hardy Drive, a light grey sedan left the area at a high rate of speed.&nbsp;</p>

After officers arrived at the 800 block of Hardy Drive, a light grey sedan left the area at a high rate of speed. 

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Charlottesville Police responded to a shots fired incident on the 800 block of Hardy Drive Saturday at 2:17 a.m., according to a community alert sent by Timothy Longo, associate vice president for safety and security and chief of police. No injuries have been reported, though shell casings were found in the area. 

After officers arrived at the 800 block of Hardy Drive, a light grey sedan left the area at a high rate of speed. As of Saturday morning, there is no information on the physical appearance of suspects. 

This is the seventh community alert sent to the University community by Longo since the beginning of the fall semester, and the fifth reporting a shots fired incident. The first incident occurred on the 300 block of Paton Street Aug. 30, the second on the 500 block of 12 Street NW Sept. 1 and the most recent at the intersection of 8th Street and Page Street on Wednesday. The third incident involved an innocent bystander, who was struck inadvertently by a round fired through the bathroom wall of Boylan Heights Sept. 4.

Robyn Hadley, vice president and chief student affairs officer, and Julie Caruccio, interim dean of students, sent an email to the University community Thursday acknowledging the influx of recent community alerts. Hadley and Caruccio wrote that the University is working to increase safety measures — including Safe Ride access and police presence — for students and community members. 

“In recent weeks, the University has worked with the community to address safety issues in off-Grounds areas, including collaborating closely with the Charlottesville Police Department and increasing personnel in areas that are jointly patrolled by the University Police Department and CPD,” the email read. “We will remain vigilant to safety concerns and will inform you when we become aware of any incidents. We remain committed to doing all we can to support your safety and well-being.”

According to a 1995 agreement between the University Police Department, the Charlottesville Police Department and the Albemarle County Police Department, police support among the three jurisdictions can include “uniformed officers, canine officers, forensic support, plainclothes officers, special operations personnel and related equipment.” 

If a law enforcement officer is present in a jurisdiction other than their own, that officer is able to make arrests only when there is “an apparent, immediate threat to public safety [that] precludes the option of deferring action to the local police agency,” according to the agreement. One agency can request police assistance from one or both of the other agencies, however, in which case law enforcement officers from an assisting agency have the same powers as those in the jurisdiction being assisted.  

According to Longo, the agreement has been informally reinterpreted to expand UPD’s jurisdiction to include portions of the City of Charlottesville that are populated by University students. These areas include the Corner, Rugby Road, 14th Street, Madison Avenue, 10th Street, Wertland Street, and portions of Preston Avenue. Through this, cooperation between CPD and UPD occurs daily.

“Community alerts” are shared with the University community when there is sufficient and timely information that can be released to the community without compromising any on-going investigations. “Timely warnings” are sent when a threat poses an “on-going threat” to the safety of the community.”