Students who live in the Kardon/Atlantic Terminal or commute using SEPTA’s Temple University station were alarmed to learn a man was shot just a block from that location last Wednesday.
Most doubt, however, they will be more cautious in the area because of the crime.
“It just goes to show you you’re not as safe as you think you are,” Alex Daniels, a freshman Kardon resident, said.
Demetrius Tolliver, an 18-year-old male not affiliated with Temple, was shot around 6:45 p.m. after he and another man left the basketball courts at Norris Apartments, located along Berks between 10th and 11th streets.
Detectives at the Philadelphia Police Department’s Central Detective Division made no comment, nor did officials from Philadelphia Housing Police. According to Carl Bittenbender, deputy director of public safety at Temple, an arrest has yet to be made. Bittenbender also said the shooting victim is not cooperating.
A day later, many commuters and Kardon residents had no idea the shooting occurred, but few were surprised that such a crime had taken place so close to University-sponsored housing.
Ayshe Erinc, a freshman Kardon resident, had her car stolen just after she moved into the building.
“Right then I knew it wasn’t a safe place,” Erinc said. “I never go out alone at night.”
About 630 students live in the Kardon building, far less than the number that commute to the University by foot, car, subway or regional rail. According to SEPTA’s public relations department, over 2,000 people use the Temple University station every day. Riders at the station were concerned about the incident.
“You always hear about isolated incidents around campus,” said Adam Ruff, a commuter. “But this is getting close to where people work, where people walk, so I’ll definitely say a prayer. … Travel in groups.”
No formal announcement of the incident was made by any local media outlet. The Temple News covered the shooting and posted a story online a short time later.
Campus Safety Services postedthe shooting in their crime log, which they normally use for crimes on or adjacent to campus. Continuing threats are posted on the Campus Safety “Owl Alert!” available on their Web site at css.ocis.temple.edu. Still, some other commuters and Kardon residents expressed their dismay that students were kept in the dark on the gunfire.
“I think if a lot of students know about it, it will affect them,” said Elizabeth Vezgin, a commuter. “Some people might not pay much attention to it, but if a student was shot it would affect them more.”
Some students said they were not surprised that the University and Campus Safety did not make a formal announcement about the shooting.
“Last year I lived in White Hall. Things were so hush-hush,” said a Kardon resident who wished only to be identified as Amanda. “We should feel safe here. It’s things like this that make me wonder.”
According to Bittenbender, there was no reason for the students to be notified.
“It was an isolated incident. There were no students involved. No students are in danger, so that’s why we didn’t make a big announcement,” Bittenbender said.
Campus Safety Services reported 18 instances of aggravated assault last year and four arrests for weapons possession since 2002. But Bernard Mackall, a sophomore commuter, believes the only effective form of crime prevention is sound judgment.
“It’s all in the company you keep. If you don’t get in a bad situation, then you don’t need to worry about nothing,” Mackall said. “I just know I gotta do what I gotta do and go about my business. … That’s how it happens.”
Christopher Reber can be reached at email@example.com.