A safety advisory was issued to students by Buffalo State College police today after two disturbing incidents that occurred near the college during the first weekend of the new school year.
Police said one student was shot in the arm after he and two friends were attacked and robbed late Friday night at the intersection of Grant Street and Potomac Avenue.
Then, two women, including a Buffalo State College student, were assaulted and robbed early Saturday when four males attacked them at Richmond Avenue and Dorchester Road.
The condition of the student who was shot Friday night could not be confirmed today. The college's police chief said the victim, who is in his late teens, is in stable condition and is being treated in Erie County Medical Center.
"Each year, we talk to our students and warn them of the possibility that things like this can happen," said Peter M. Carey, the police chief. "These students did nothing wrong. They were out walking the streets, and they were walking with friends, just as we urge them to do."
Authorities said Buffalo police were called to Grant and Potomac at 11:23 p.m. Friday after three male students were approached by six males. An altercation broke out, and the students were "kicked, punched and robbed," college officials said in the safety advisory.
Shots were fired as the students tried to flee the scene, and one student was shot in the arm, according to the advisory.
"From everything we've been told by Buffalo police, the three students did nothing to provoke this attack," Carey said. "As far as I can see, this was nothing more than six young men who took the opportunity to victimize three others."
"Five or six shots" were fired at the fleeing students, probably from a handgun, Carey said.
In the second incident, around 3:50 a.m. Saturday, two young women - one of them a Buffalo State College student - were assaulted and robbed of their purses at Dorchester and Richmond. No weapons were used and the two victims were not injured, according to the advisory. Four male suspects were involved.
And in an incident not mentioned in the advisory, Buffalo Fire Department officials said three young people suffered minor injuries early today when they fell from a second-story balcony that collapsed during a party near the college campus. It could not immediately be confirmed whether the victims were college students.
Fire Department officials said the incident at 597 Grant St. is under investigation by city building inspectors.
The balcony apparently collapsed "due to the age" of the building, and because it was overloaded with students partying during the first college weekend of the year, fire officials said. The incident happened at a two-story building between Grant and Rees streets, near the college.
Bradley Street is one of a number of streets near the college that features apartment houses that are rented by students. Carey declined to comment on that incident except to say his office will be looking into it.
The safety advisory issued today advised all students to "be aware of their surroundings at all times."
"It is always a good idea to have a companion with you, especially when commuting in the evenings and early mornings," the advisory stated.
Carey said the safety advisory was e-mailed to all students, faculty and staff members. He said the college is required by federal law to notify students and staffers of potential safety problems on and near the campus.
"We need our students to be aware ... the front part of our campus is great, but some nearby neighborhoods" are not as safe, Carey said.
He said the incidents are being investigated by Buffalo police, and said his officers will do "everything we can" to help Buffalo police and the students.
None of the victims' names have been released so far.