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Purple Media Network

The Official Student Media of Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Purple Media Network

Purple Media Network

Some NSU students don’t feel safe at The Quad

Submitted Photo
The Quad Apartments located at 3800 University Pkwy, Natchitoches, La.

It’s 01:07 a.m. on Oct. 12, 2023 and a Northwestern State University of Louisiana student was sitting with her roommates in her living room when they heard a sequence of five gunshots. The student called 911 and said that there was a shooting near her residence. It wasn’t the first time she heard shots at The Quad, a privately owned apartment complex located across the street from NSU’s Campus in Natchitoches.

The 911 responder asked if the student had heard a scream and she said no. Then the operator hung up, the student said. No one from this apartment went outside or worried too much because she and her roommates felt that shooting incidents happened frequently in the area around The Quad.

“I’ve made many 911 calls while living in The Quad, mostly about domestic arguments or shots heard in the area,” the student said on the condition of anonymity to protect her identity for safety reasons. “To me this call was nothing different than normal,” she added. But this time the call was different because they found out someone had actually died.

President Marcus Jones, NSU’s president, sent an email that morning to the student body announcing the death of an NSU football player. “It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of one of our current students, Ronnie Caldwell Jr. Ronnie was a talented junior business administration major from Austin, Texas” the email began.

What happened earlier, according to the 911 call log, the first calls were about hearing shots, but at 1:38 a.m. the report was changed from “illegal use of weapons” to a “homicide shoot.” One minute later, the report said “coroner has been advised.” Approximately 21 minutes later, the coroner arrived on the scene.

The student said that The Quad sent out a statement a day later to all residents and their parents. It read, in part: “Our priority is the safety and well-being of our residents and employees. We can affirm that police have confirmed this is an isolated incident and that there is no ongoing threat to any of our on-site residents, employees, students, or community stemming from this incident.”

According to The Quad’s leasing agreement, any tenants found with “weapons, firearms, pistols, rifles, ammunition, explosives and other dangerous items…will be confiscated by management or the police and may result in the termination of the lease agreement.” Despite these regulations, the NSU student feels that her many 911 calls have not been addressed before. She said that this was the first time she received a statement from The Quad’s management regarding a safety issue.

She also said she was worried because the email sent to all residents and parents may raise concerns about living at The Quad. “I was trying to kinda hide that from my mom,” she said. She didn’t want her mother thinking she was unsafe where she lives.

The Current Sauce reached out to The Quad but the management did not respond on time for this story’s deadline.

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Lia Portillo Cantarero
Lia Portillo Cantarero, Current Sauce - Editor-in-Chief
Lia Portillo Cantarero is a junior communication major. This is her third year in The Current Sauce and as Editor-in-Chief she hopes to raise awareness around the stories that are happening in the campus community. For Lia, becoming the Editor-in-Chief has been a dream and she is honored to carry the legacy of The Current Sauce forward.

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