COLUMBUS, Ohio — The city of Columbus saw a violent weekend with three homicides in about 10 hours on Saturday followed by two Ohio State University public safety alerts for robberies near campus.
As more than 60,000 students are getting ready to prepare for their first day of classes, the university is telling them to prepare for safety as well.
“I've read a couple of the emails and it does scare me. I know to stay inside or walk with a friend,” said Emma Hall, a freshman at Ohio State.
Over the weekend, two students told police they were robbed at gunpoint. Another student said they were robbed, knocked to the ground, and sexually assaulted.
“I feel like I did get some kind of text message or a citizen's alert. I get a ton of those. This is Columbus, it has a very high crime rate,” said Ohio State junior Henry Magoun.
The off-campus area wasn't the only place to see violence over the weekend.
In about 10 hours there were three homicides in Columbus.
The first happened around 2 p.m. on Saturday near Galloway. Police said they are investigating the shooting as a suspected murder-suicide after a reported marital dispute.
An hour later, a man was found shot on South Highland near Mound Street in the Hilltop neighborhood.
The third homicide of the day happened around 11:30 p.m near Hildreth Avenue and Taylor Avenue.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said he hopes the community will work with police and give any information on suspicious activity.
“We know this is a tough, tough time right now. We are committed to working with the community and law enforcement to make sure our neighborhoods are safer,” Ginther said.
Mayor Ginther said he and Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant are working on the budget to hire more police officers to hit the streets next year.
“Working on a comprehensive approach, it's going to be more officers on the street that are trained with de-escalation and community policing things that Chief Bryant is working on,” Ginther said.
Ohio State University leaders said they offer a variety of ways for students to keep themselves safe, including cheap rides with Lyft and door and window locks, but students need to do their part.
“Help us help you and do the things you can do and then we will have a laser-like focus on the things we can do to protect you and keep you safe,” said Monica Moll, Director of Public Safety for Ohio State.
For information about safety on Ohio State's campus visit the following links: