‘We understand and support you’: VSU President addresses community after officer injured in shooting

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State University (VSU) President Makola Abdullah shared a message with the Petersburg community after a campus police officer was injured in an off-campus shooting on Sunday, Nov. 12.

In the president’s letter released on Sunday night, Abdullah expressed his gratitude to the VSU police department as they continue to use all of their resources in an effort to find the person — or people — responsible for the shooting.

Abdullah also explained that the weekend had been trying for students and faculty. There will be counselors on school grounds available to talk to students about what happened throughout the day on Monday, Nov. 13.

VSU’s Student Government Association is also holding a call to action. The student-run organization will meet on Monday afternoon in Foster Hall. The school has made the meeting public and invited anyone on campus to participate in the discussion.

The Vice President of the SGA, Devyn Nobles, also addressed the incident, telling the community to stay strong during this difficult time. Nobles says the main goal of the SGA is to voice the concerns of the students.

“Be strong,” Nobles said. “‘Greater Happens Here.’ As we all know, that’s our great motto. As officers were saying earlier, we are very much a family, and as a family, we will get through this.” 

The shooting happened in the early morning hours on Sunday, not far from the school’s campus.

Police responded to an area on Boisseau Street around 1:34 a.m. after getting a call that a VSU police officer had been shot. According to the Chesterfield County Police Department, 39-year-old VSU police officer, Bruce Foster, was investigating a disturbance at the time of the shooting. He was taken to VCU Medical Center with life-threatening injuries but is reportedly in stable condition.

Shortly after the shooting, the school was placed on lockdown — which was lifted several hours later around noon. The suspect involved in the shooting has still not been caught.

Edward Johnson is a member of the VSU community he says all the gun violence in the area he calls home makes him worried for his community.

“They’re going to have to do something. Every time they turn around, they are shooting somebody. And kids in school, now that’s a shame,” Johnson said. “I just shake my head — I got shot at enough when I was in Vietnam.”

The investigation into this officer-involved shooting is still ongoing. Anyone with information related to the incident is encouraged to contact the Chesterfield County Police Department.

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