A neighbor of the victim of the shooting that took place on Savannah State University's campus Tuesday afternoon recounted her experience being one of the first people to attend to the victim at the scene.
A student was shot just outside Building 32 around 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. He is currently in stable condition, according to his neighbors. Neither Savannah State nor the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has released his name yet.
The suspect De'Ante Lamont Scott, not a Savannah State student, is currently in custody at Chatham County Jail. The investigation is currently being conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is normal procedure for a state institution.
Kaja Allen, a mass communications major and a designer for Tiger's Roar, said she heard the shots while packing to leave for the summer with her mom and sister. Allen lives near the victim.
Seeing her wounded neighbor, she went outside to see if he was OK. The victim had wounds in both the chest and the hand. The victim’s girlfriend was on the phone with 911 who told the students to apply pressure to his chest.
“We had a towel and a shirt so we were trying to put pressure on his chest, but he was still moving around alert, probably because of adrenaline,” Allen said.
Allen said that by this point, students had gathered around recording what was going on.
“They (SSU Campus Police) finally showed up after 5 minutes of students being on the scene and they were telling us to move back while we’re trying to help the guy," Allen said. "I understand because students were being rowdy and recording and stuff but we’re doing what the 911 operator was telling us to do—put pressure on his chest—and you’re not even trying to take control and do it."
Allen said she was frustrated with the police response.
On Twitter, students were complaining about the slow response to the scene. There is a security guard substation in the Commons area that is manned at all times, according to Loretta Heyward, spokeswoman for the university and associate vice president for marketing and communications. However, many students say there was not a person there at the time of the incident.
"The University Commons substation is manned by a sworn officer 24/7. That officer was the first to respond to the crime scene yesterday afternoon," Heyward wrote in an email response.
“We started fussing at the campus police saying, ‘You all took 5 minutes to get here. The ambulance still isn’t here. The real police aren’t here yet. Help do something!’”
The Savannah Police arrived at the scene roping off the area, followed shortly afterward by the ambulance.
“His hand looked peeled, like a flower when it’s open; you could see all the flesh. His chest wasn’t bleeding as much,” Allen said. “I just remember him trying to get up, like he was kicking his legs. Once the ambulance took him, everything kind of calmed down.”
There was a towel and t-shirt in the roped-in area of the scene.
“One of my neighbors from the other side of the building brought the towel, and she was holding it. She came in my house before the ambulance came and asked if she could wash the blood off her hands because she had more than I did on my hands.”