The Charlottesville Police Department responded to a report of shots fired Saturday morning in the 800 block of Hardy Drive at 5:43 a.m. per a community alert sent by Timothy Longo, associate vice president for safety and security and chief of police.
Upon arrival, CPD discovered numerous shell casings and damage to property which is consistent with a bullet strike. No suspect description was reported.
“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 ongoing investigations. “Timely warnings” are sent when crimes committed pose an “ongoing threat” to the safety of the community.”
This is the thirteenth community alert of the semester and the second this month, following a robbery reported Sunday night near Cohn’s store on the Corner. Other alerts have included a prowling incident Sept. 29, an aggravated assault Sept. 25, and five additional shots fired reports — most notably an incident in which a bystander was inadvertently struck by a bullet in the Boylan Heights bathroom Sept. 4.
Following concerns from parents and a perceived uptick in crime rates in and around the University, the University Police Department announced the formation of a new unit called the Community Oriented Policing Squad, which will focus on increasing safety near the Corner and neighborhoods closest to Grounds.
The increased presence of UPD drew criticism from a group of Law students who called for the dismantling of the COPS unit as well as University efforts to address the “root causes” of violent crime by promoting development in the Charlottesville community. Young Democratic Socialists at U.Va. have made similar demands, calling on the University to defund its ambassador program and fire Longo, who has previously drawn criticism for policing practices, including leadership in a racially-targeted DNA dragnet.
Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact the CPD at (434) 970-3280.