Local News

Duke issues warning to students after weekend shooting

Posted August 10, 2009 2:51 p.m. EDT
Updated August 13, 2009 3:31 p.m. EDT

— University administrators reminded Duke students Monday to use common sense and caution after a student was shot during an attempted robbery.

According to police, Ulisses Gurgel, 22, and a female companion were walking in the 500 block of Watts Street shortly before midnight Saturday when a man armed with a gun approached them from behind, police said. He ordered the pair to put their hands on their heads and started to search them.

A struggle ensued over the gun, and two shots were fired, police said. Gurgel was shot in the abdomen, and the would-be robber fled.

Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, sent an e-mail message to the student body advising them of the incident and outlining precautions.

His suggestions to students are as follows:

  1. Avoid risky behavior. Don't walk alone at night or in unfamiliar areas. Avoid alcohol and drugs. Stay with people you trust.
  2. Be alert, walk confidently and make eye contact. If someone has negative intentions, making eye contact might deter them because they realize you can identify them.
  3. If you’re being followed, go to the nearest populated, well-lit location and call 911. Do not go home. If you’re walking, cross the street away from the person and go somewhere such as a convenient store. If you’re driving, you can go to the Duke University Hospital emergency room or Duke Police headquarters, at 502 Oregon St.
  4. Report suspicious activity immediately. Trust your instincts. If you see a person who isn’t typically in your area of campus and they’re acting suspicious, call Duke Police at 919-684-2444 or dial 911.
  5. Do not leave personal property unattended. Laptops, backpacks, purses or cell phones are easy items to steal. What they contain is difficult to replace.

Anyone with any information about the shooting should call Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200. Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases, and callers never have to identify themselves.