Gunfire at Hump’s on Saturday

Gunfire at Hump’s on Saturday

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It was a casual Saturday night on April 29: customers were filtering in and out of the Library Annex on Forest Park Avenue; passersby and students were walking by Humphrey’s old establishment; several parties were underway at the University Heights Lofts. Nonetheless, the lackadaisical atmosphere drastically shifted at approximately 1:24 a.m. early Sunday morning when a gunshot was fired between Spring and Laclede, as reported by Vice President of Marketing and Communications Jeff Fowler, who acquired information from DPS.

Fowler went on to explain that DPS officers received a call regarding the incident, who in turn contacted the St. Louis Police Department to respond to the gunshot. “Both DPS and St. Louis Police arrived on the scene and interviewed a number of people who were there,” he said. “Out of those interviewed, no one could definitively say that there was a shot fired, so the police were unable to confirm it as no one saw the incident transpire.”

Along with the lack of assertion, Fowler mentioned that there were substantiated reports of people setting off fireworks the same night on the roof of The Standard apartment complex. Without any witnesses and the possibility of the “gunshot noise” being that of fireworks instead, no timely warning was issued.

However, the investigation continued through Monday when the DPS officers and detectives obtained camera footage from one of the businesses within the vicinity of Laclede and Spring—according to Fowler, the film showed a male within the 18-22 age range having an altercation with another gentleman and pointing a gun in the air, slightly South. “The male fired one round into the air and then immediately jumped in a white car with another male and sped off,” he explained. “We don’t know who they are at this point as their descriptions are pretty generic, but DPS does not believe they are SLU students or affiliated with SLU.”

Typically, DPS sends out notifications to students regarding any possible threat within the same night or early the next morning if there is a confirmed danger. Fowler justified the lack of communication to the students, explaining that “they could not confirm that an incident had taken place that night until Monday. There was no timely warning by Monday, and video evidence showed that the person who fired the weapon sped off and left the area. There was no longer a danger to the university community because the person who fired the weapon left. Timely warnings are important to notify the community of an ongoing threat.”

Among those present at the scene, senior Doug Flaherty was at a friend’s party at the ULofts with the intention of heading over to the Library Annex after. He described how he and his friends walked down to the first floor and noticed around 70 people funneling out of one of the apartments. With the ULofts security guard present, they assumed nothing unusual was occurring—only that of a party being broken up. “We walked outside, and then I started walking toward Humphrey’s on the right side of the road,” Flaherty said. “Right away, I saw two kids yelling at each other, but there were a lot of people because a party was being broken up. I kept walking to avoid the people and altercations; when I was around 25 feet away, I saw a kid reach to grab a pistol and pull it out. Without hesitation, he fired a shot.”

Frightened at the time and hiding behind the corner of the building, Flaherty mentioned that people were running in all directions after the shot—or as he explains, at least three shots left the pistol. “Kids were running everywhere, so it was hard to pick out exactly what the guy with the gun looked like or where he ran to,” he said. “After the guys came back, they stopped in the Humphrey’s parking lot. The guy who had the gun before dropped it, and his friends were pushing him around and yelling at him. After they argued, someone picked up the gun, stuffed it in his pants, and ran.” Amidst the incident, both Fowler and Flaherty stressed that the gunshots were not fired at anyone—whether they were warning shots is uncertain. However, police responded to the scene in a timely manner and are certain that it is not an ongoing problem.

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