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Recent wave of crime near U of M has students on edge

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A recent spark in crime around the University of Memphis has some students on edge.

“It’s scary and it seems like it’s happening more and more," said graduate student Zeb Wallace.

Wallace is one of many students who said he's noticed an increase in crime near the University of Memphis.

“Even though a lot of this is happening off campus, it’s still right here," said Wallace.

On Friday morning, police said a man was shot at DeSoto and Patterson. It happened close to 2 a.m. when police said he dropped his girlfriend off at the Living Learning Center. When he was pulling away, he said another driver fired five shots into his car, one of them hitting his leg.

Then about four hours later, half a mile away on Southern Avenue, a woman reported being assaulted. Police said an acquaintance wouldn’t leave her apartment and assaulted her, but was gone by the time officers got there.

“Campus is usually like, it’s a community in itself, so for violence to be creeping up in it, that’s just crazy," said Jeremy Rivers, who works on campus.

Last week, a student also reported being robbed at gunpoint at his fraternity house.

And last month, a woman was shot outside a house party near campus. That happened days before a man’s laptop stopped a bullet from hitting him when he was robbed at gunpoint.

“The University of Memphis seems to have one of the safest campuses in the state, but still with it being so close around here, it eventually works its way onto campus," said Wallace.

Students said they aren’t sure what can be done to prevent the crime but hope people think twice before resorting to violence.

“If someone’s got something going on, we talk about it, so it doesn’t escalate like this," said Rivers.

Luckily in all these cases, the victims made it out OK.

We reached out to the University of Memphis for a comment on these recent crimes, but they didn’t want to say anything since MPD is handling them.

If you have information that could lead to an arrest in any of these crimes, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH.