A shooting at a block party near Clark Atlanta University on Tuesday night left four women injured; two students from Spelman College and two from Clark Atlanta.
Now, one of those students has a message for her classmates: don’t be afraid.
“We can not allow another careless act of gun violence,” says Kia Thomas. “And we can not allow another hateful act to cause us to live in fear.”
Nineteen-year-old Thomas said about 30 minutes into being at the party she heard a loud pop. “And I second-guessed myself hoping it wasn’t a gunshot.”
She was wrong. A bullet grazed the left side of her abdomen.
Thomas, a middle blocker on the CAU volleyball team, doesn’t want this week’s incident to tarnish her classmates’ college experience.
She says she wants to encourage students “to walk by faith and not by fear.”
Three of the four women, including Thomas, have been released from the hospital. According to Spelman, the fourth student is expected to be released soon. Injuries include gunshot wounds to the leg and chest.
The shooting happened on James P. Brawley Drive. According to the Atlanta Police Department, the shooter opened fire in a crowd of about 200 people.
Clark Atlanta University has since boosted security.
“Effectively immediately, CAU public safety employees are serving 12-hour shifts, enabling us to provide 24-hour coverage on campus,” a letter from Interim Lucille H. Maugé reads to parents.
Other schools a part of the Atlanta University Center Consortium have also increased security measures.
“All AUCC institutions will have police presence on-campus and throughout the surrounding areas,” the Consortium said in a statement. Spelman, Morehouse College and Morehouse School of Medicine are also apart of the Consortium.
The Atlanta Police Department is still investigating the incident. A video has been released of a suspect. At the time of this report, no arrests have been made.