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Shots fired at Clark Atlanta, days after student killed, police say | Here's what the school is doing

Midterm exams were postponed until after spring break, the school announced, so students can focus on their mental health.

ATLANTA — Police were called back to Clark Atlanta University on reports of shots fired near a dormitory, just days after another student was killed outside the campus' Catholic center.

At around 8:10 p.m. on Sunday, the Atlanta Police Department responded to shots fired near Beckwith Hall at Clark Atlanta University. They said there were no reported injuries.

Shekinah Burden, who is a Junior, lives in a dorm building nearby.

“I was in my bed and just heard, 'boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,'" she said. "I was on the phone with my friend when it happened. He started running, then the phone hangs up."

It’s the second shooting reported near CAU's campus in just the last week. APD said no one was hurt in Sunday’s gunfire and they haven’t arrested one yet.  

A'Blessyn Haskins, who is also a Junior, said the shooting was not her first time hearing gunshots here. She fears it won’t be the last.

“My family came and visited me and we were leaving a homecoming event and we were running from gunshots. It was their first time visiting me. I can tell you they haven’t been back to visit me since," she added.

APD said they'd continue to provide patrols in the area, along with campus police and the Fulton County Sheriff's Office. 

Just last week, Jatonne Sterling, a member of the school's baseball team was shot and killed outside the Lyke House Catholic Center at the Atlanta University Center. Police said the 20-year-old was targeted.

Sophomore Miyonna Parris said that one hit close to home.

“It was hard for me being that I just lost my friend last week with violence and then turn around and have more shootings on campus? Our parents are sending us miles and miles away, expecting us to be safe. Here we are running from bullets to save our life,” Parris said. 

The students who spoke with 11Alive on Monday said they have planned a rally on Thursday to ask the university for more security measures so that they don’t have to grieve the loss of another classmate and friend. 

They also started an online petition that as of Monday afternoon has garnered more than 300 signatures.

“I feel like we need to be a gated campus," Burden said. "I feel like we need to have more police officers stationed all over the different residence halls like on the promenade. We need more cameras or working cameras."

Students at Clark Atlanta were notified about a week of mental health activities.

"It will be beneficial to pause our busy schedules in order to begin to heal as a community and remember why Clark Atlanta University is here. We’re here for one another to persevere and grow through difficult times. It’s who we are. We find a way or make one through our culture for service," the school said in a letter to students. 

Midterm exams were set to begin on Monday, however, those will now take place after spring break, they said. 

"The administration has initiated developing a more extensive mental health program for the continuous and long-term benefits of the entire CAU community," the statement read.

This is a developing story. Check back often for new information.

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