At least one student was stabbed and others were beaten in an attack near two Howard University residence halls, local reports say.
A group of about 50 juveniles — who were not students — gathered directly across from the campus in Washington, D.C., Saturday night and were asked to disband after concern from local law enforcement, according to Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick. Several hours later, on Sunday morning, a large group of juveniles gathered outside of the Howard Plaza Towers and physically assaulted several Howard University students.
"Through our investigation of this incident and our response to it, we learned that our public safety response did not meet our standards of support and assistance," Frederick said in a statement. "We have since taken action to hold those persons accountable and have removed one individual from campus and suspended another pending an internal investigation."
The school president said there will be increased staff and security presence around campus.
Victims spoke to local station WRC-TV about the assault.
"I was prepared to die," one told WRC-TV. "When I was on the ground getting stomped out, I just stopped feeling the pain at one point."
Victims described the attackers as a group of D.C. locals.
"They just started kicking us, punching us," another said. "We were getting jumped."
The two victims were able to escape, but some of their friends got left behind, including the student who was stabbed.
"He got stabbed in the back and he got just beat on by like 30 people, him by himself, and security looked at him on the ground, watched his body go limp and just walked away. Didn't call anybody; didn't do anything," the victim said.
Frederick met with a group of students to discuss the physical assault that took place. The attack also prompted a town hall for parents and students to discuss the attack and campus safety.
Students will be required to show university-issued ID to enter residence halls and other campus buildings. A public safety officer will also be stationed at Towers Plaza between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Last year, the school installed 1,000 cameras in and around school buildings, and will install 1,000 more in the coming months.
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