Meeting at UV focuses on safety

Jerret Raffety

Officials held a meeting at University Village Apartments on Monday to dispel rumors, answer questions and talk about safety, said Lisa Shultz, assistant director of Housing and Residential Life at the University.

The murder of Edward Rajual Howard Reynolds, 25, Saturday night in front of Leaning Tower of Pizza on University Avenue Southeast, prompted the meeting.

Reynolds was killed after he exchanged gunfire with suspects who fled the scene, police said.

Police found a pistol behind the fence that runs along Huron Boulevard on the east side of Dinnaken Apartments, said Minneapolis Police Officer Brandon Stengel. It appeared as if it was thrown from a moving car, he said.

Officials at the meeting included Great Lakes Management, the company that owns the west end of University Village Apartments, the University Police Department, Housing and Residential Life, and University Counseling and Consulting Services.

At the meeting, officials explained what happened Saturday night and encouraged students to be responsible for their own safety. They also reminded students not to hesitate to call police if they are suspicious of a group. In addition, they explained safety initiatives, such as increased police patrols and Great Lakes Management’s private Avalon Security Firm.

The firm was present the night of the shooting, said Lorien Mueller, manager for Great Lakes Management. The on-duty security guard that night helped obtain a vehicle description for police after the shooting occurred, Mueller said.

The firm patrols the interior and exterior of Great Lakes Management’s portion of University Village. It patrols five times a night and offers 24-hour security response for residents, Mueller said.

Still, some students said they don’t feel safe on campus, regardless of University police or the firm’s efforts.

The recent violence hasn’t helped this insecurity, first-year student Meghan Marx said.

“People always told me, ‘Don’t move to Minneapolis, because you’re going to get killed,’ ” Marx said.

Minneapolis police are currently seeking multiple suspects, Police Chief Ron Reier said.

Greg Hestness, University police chief and assistant vice president for the Department of Public Safety, acknowledged that there were more leads in the case but declined to comment further.

The altercation might be gang-related, said Jason Tossey, community investigator for the University Police Department. Though there is no definite evidence of gang involvement in the shooting, the scenario suggests the possibility, he said.

“People that are armed like (the victim and shooter) were are more often than not gang-affiliated,” Tossey said.

Above all, University police said they want students and visitors to know they are not in danger of being shot randomly on campus, Tossey said. The University has a relatively low level of violent crimes, he said.

“If I said that we were just as safe as we were six months ago, you’d say ‘no,’ but I’d say ‘yes,’ ” Tossey said.