Latest Details on Sunday Night Shooting

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- On Sunday morning, a shooting at an apartment complex left Ben Graessle, a 19-year-old college student, dead. You can read that full story here: Late Night Murder has Police Searching for Answers

A WHSV reporter spoke with Harrisonburg Police all day on Monday, but officers said the case is still under investigation. What our reporter has confirmed is that this is not the first time police officers have been called to that area.

Student Sarah Reid is taking extra steps to feel safe at home. She secures her home by locking her doors and putting a piece of wood on her balcony.

"If the locks breaks. Maybe that's there to prevent someone from coming in," said Reid.

Reid, who lives at the Commons, said having someone breaking into her apartment is not her only concern.

"There was a lot of parties. There's parties that happen up above us that in the middle of the night we would hear bottles breaking and fights going out."

A shooting that killed Graessle happened just steps away from her house.

“I wouldn't be surprised if that happened again. Maybe not someone being shot but and the cops being around here. It's kinda becoming the norm.”

A WHSV reporter looked on for statistics about crime in the area. From Nov. 24 to Dec. 24, seven assaults, two larcenies and one breaking and entering happened in the Port Republic Road area.

For Reid, complexes like Camden Townes, are some she has heard are even more dangerous.

“I heard there was a rape. I heard there have been multiple break-ins. I mean there are cops always over there. That would not be a place I would look into."

Yuan Chen, who lives at Camden Townes, heard these rumors from friends, but she said it is not as unsafe as they say.

"I don't feel is as dangerous as some other people told me," said Chen.

She said she gets many e-mails from police about incidents in the area.

Reid said she's moving out of town next year but if she had to do it all over again, she wouldn't live at the Commons.

"If I were more informed about the things that happen around here, I'd feel more safe. Knowing there's a shooting right below us makes me feel kind of uneasy to go out by myself," said Reid.

Reid said her landlord didn't send her an email about the shooting until late Sunday and she said she first learned about the death hours before that email through Facebook.

WHSV will continue to follow this story and bring you any new information when there is an update.

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