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Police investigate shots fired near Sanford Residence Hall

There are no known victims or suspects.
Image by Alex Steil
A UMPD police officer on Northrop Mall on Feb. 1, 2024. A SAFE-U alert sent Saturday night cautioned people to stay away from the area.

The University of Minnesota Police Department (UMPD) is investigating an incident of shots fired near Sanford Residence Hall and the FloCo apartment complex Saturday night. 

No victims or suspects were located, though casings were recovered from the southwest corner of Sanford parking lot C43, according to the police report. 

A SAFE-U alert, issued around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, notified the University community of the incident near 1122 University Ave. SE. Two males in dark clothing were seen running from the area, the alert said. 

First-year student and Sanford resident Ellie Grodnick said she heard the shots from her building. Having never heard gunshots before, Grodnick said she was scared.

“I was wanting to close my window, close my shade,” Grodnick said. “I thought it was gonna happen again. I didn’t want them to come running back and shoot at my window.”

After receiving reports of shots fired, UMPD personnel were on the scene, UMPD spokesperson Jake Ricker said in an email to The Minnesota Daily. 

FloCo resident Jenna Elbers said she did not hear the shots but was alerted to the situation by seeing bright lights outside her apartment. 

She thought the lights were from a party, and Elbers said she did not think much of it until the lights got more intense a few minutes later. 

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, those are police sirens, like, those are police lights,’” Elbers said.

Elbers said she and her roommates walked outside to see several police cars outside the complex and a police officer with a rifle in hand.

Elbers’ roommate, Camille Staats, said she was at work during this time. When she returned home, she saw the police presence outside her apartment. 

While Staats said she was not surprised to see police in and around Dinkytown, she was confused as to why there were so many outside “clearly searching the area” around the complex with guns strapped to their chests.

“That was kind of scary because there’s like big guns out here,” Staats said. “Something went down.”

Staats asked a police officer on the scene if it was safe for her to return to her apartment, to which the officer replied it was.

Based on Saturday night’s investigation and follow-up at the scene, there are no known injuries or property damage as a result of the incident.

Staats said she noticed the addition of a surveillance camera in the Sanford C43 lot in the days since the incident, but little else has changed. 

“It’s been pretty [much] business as usual here in Dinkytown,” Staats said.

Ricker said anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact (612) 624-COPS.

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