By J. Manuel Rivera Cortes
On Oct. 23, Professor Amod Choudhury discovered a bullet in his office in Carman Hall.
“I was on a phone call with the Dean’s office when I noticed a copper-like bullet on the ground near the window,” said Choudhary. Upon further review he noticed a small hole in the pane of glass near him.
Public Safety quickly dispatched three officers to complete an initial investigation. Director of Public Safety, Fausto Ramirez then contacted the 52nd Precint. Its forensic team was able to extract the pane of glass for laboratory examination. They figured out that the bullet was fired from a distance.
Ramirez said, “The act is believed to have occurred in an adjacent neighborhood across Reservoir Avenue.” The NYPD declared the incident as a violation of the Penal code 120.25, defined as reckless endangerment in the first degree.
Ramirez questioned the 50th and 52nd precincts about any possible gunfire activities during the discovery of the metal fragment. He told The Meridian that no report of this was confirmed.
Ramirez recalled the tragic death of Paula Soto, a former Lehman student. On March 19, 1991 Soto was killed by a stray .22 mm bullet shot from the 4 train while playing softball on the campus field 150 yards away. Ramirez, a public safety officer at the time, was the responding officer to the shooting. He explained that Soto was rushed to the hospital but died four hours later. A memorial in her honor was placed near the Shuster Hall building.
According to a report released by the 52nd Precinct, there were 15 shootings in 2017 and 2018. The report also states that these numbers reflect a 42.3 percent drop over the past eight years and an 80 percent drop over the last 25 years.
Lehman currently has 144 operational video cameras and 188 call boxes all throughout Lehman College to help ensure student safety. The NYPD also dispatches sector cars to patrol the perimeter of the Lehman campus during the evening hours.
Despite these measures, the most recent incident has raised concerns among students, with some stating that a checkpoint should be implemented where students must swipe their ID cards to gain entry to the campus. Senior Neil Omancharan, a Diet and Nutrition major, said, “I don’t like the idea of not having a swipe system when it concerns my safety.”