Bloomington shooting leaves some students shaken, searching for answers

A shooting in Bloomington happened at the 400 block of S. Grant Street early Sunday morning. (WTHR)
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WTHR) — A weekend shooting near Indiana University's campus has students wondering why they weren't warned.

The shooting happened near the 400 block of South Grant Street just before 2 a.m. Sunday.

Those living at the large, two-story house had rented it out for a party, where those attending pay to get in.

According to Bloomington police, an officer with the Bloomington PD was patrolling the area when he heard numerous gunshots and saw several people fleeing from a party.

Two people, a 23-year-old man and an 18-year-old female, had been shot and were rushed to the hospital.

The first officer on the scene saw the alleged shooter and chased him down, catching 23-year-old Gabriel Alsman, who police say was carrying a stolen handgun. He was arrested on numerous charges. Police believe at least one other person is involved.

Police believe the gunfire was started following an argument between two opposing groups from Indianapolis.

Students who live near where the incident occurred are still shaken and wondering why IU did not send out an emergency alert.

MegAnn Pearl was at her boyfriend's apartment just across from the house, when they heard the barrage of gunfire.

"It was very terrifying to hear screaming and be ducking, being afraid of bullets coming thru the window and finding the shooter in the backyard," Pearl said.

She said while the shooting didn't occur on the IU campus, it was just two blocks away.

"I understand it didn't happen on campus, but student life expands beyond campus to the surrounding area," Pearl said.

Others students who live in the area expressed similar concerns.

"I would have really appreciated an alert...If there's a violent shoot-out, I'd like to know about it,” Will Cruse said.

Ben Hunter, IU’s superintendent for Public Safety said the incident didn't meet the criteria for an IU Notify Alert used in dangerous situations with an immediate threat on or directly adjacent to IU property.

"I understand the frustration of students who live near campus but this was not on campus, not in campus housing (or on our property) and not our investigation,” Hunter said.

He said while campus police provided assistance, it was Bloomington PD's jurisdiction.

Hunter said they were also told the alleged shooter had been caught, not learning until later about the possibility of a second suspect.

"At time we thought this is not a serious ongoing threat and we want to avoid fatigue with emergency messages," he said. "We understand the frustration, we absolutely do, but we can't risk fatigue with IU Notify. It's for taking immediate action."

Pearl said while she understands the criteria, "I don't think it's keeping us safe enough. (IU) can do better."

Hunter said they review every incident and will do the same following this one while working with student government to see what if any changes can be made to improve the system.

Anyone who has information about the incident should contact Bloomington Police Department Detective Josh Burnworth at 812-349-3363.