The 2008 TigerFest went well for the majority of the week. It seemed that all events were positive and students enjoyed the last bit of festivities before the close of the school year. This was until Friday afternoon when students were shocked to see dozens of state troopers with assault rifles around the campus of Grambling State University, ordering students to remove themselves from campus.
“I was at my plot and I saw someone get tazed just for running away,” Broderick Eggins said. “That’s when two state troopers holding rifles came and forced me and my brothers to leave campus.”
The GSU police reports that due to a series of fights, the campus was forced to “lock down,” once permission was given by Vice President Robert M. Dixon.
“There were at least 3 or 4 small fights and many onlookers running to see which wasn’t safe” said Chief Walker of the GSUpolice “I wanted them to get away from the fights because it made it hard to identify who was causing trouble and when asked to leave students challenged us,” he said.
As reported by GSU police, these alleged fights started that Thursday night after a brawl at club End Zone in Ruston. These altercations lead to three small fights on campus, which lead police to look for violators in Tubman Hall.
“I heard shots and people took off running,” said senior Gernard Hill, “It was
made into a bigger deal than it had to be.”
During these fights, there were shoots fired but too many people were around to identify the shooter said police.
After pleading with the student body to return to their respective areas so that a proper investigation could be completed, Chief Walker called in 45 reinforcements of the Louisiana State Troopers to control the excess amount of students.
The campus was not forced to “lock down” solely because of the gunshots as reported by the GSU police, it was to control the fights and the excess amount of students interfering with the investigation of the fights.
Chief Walker also states, “We accept the challenge of anyone who wants to undermine our authority and we will do anything to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff.
After an investigation, 5 arrests were made regarding the incidence in which 2 of the lawbreakers were not students of GSU.
Only 2 injuries occurred due to fighting, and those people were sent to the hospital and immediately released.