Case Western, Little Italy community improving safety measures after student shot Saturday night

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CLEVELAND, Ohio - A frightening crime scene in Little Italy, near the Case Western University campus, around 7:55 Saturday night on Murray Hill.

A 20-year-old male Case student was shot in the abdomen at close range during a robbery attempt in a parking lot.

Authorities said during a press conference Sunday the incident was a possible carjacking.

The student had to be rushed to University Hospitals for emergency surgery.  Officials said the student is recovering at UH with his family at his side.  As of Sunday afternoon, he is being moved from the ICU to a regular patient room.

"It's pretty scary and unfortunate it happened on this campus," said Case student Joe Shulia.

"I'm definitely happy he's recovering. It could have been a different story if it was fatal. Hopefully he's okay," said Case student Taylor Bova.

"I feel remorse for the kid. Thank God the people got caught," said Case student Murathan Kahyaogoe.

As for the two suspects, ages 18 and 19, the crime took another turn.

Police say the suspects were spotted at an RTA station on Mayfield Road. They fled and were reportedly caught on E. 123rd Street and E. 119th Street.

The suspect caught on E. 119th Street was hiding in a ditch, according to authorities.  Police reportedly hoarded the suspect out of the ditch and the suspect engaged in confrontation with the officers. The suspect then shot at the responding University Circle police officers and they returned fire.  None of the officers were hit.

The suspect was shot.  He was transported to University Hospitals and needed surgery.  Police said he is in critical condition.

Both suspects are in custody.

Even so, police brought in extra police officers and increased patrols Sunday to help make students feel safe.

Several students said they feel this shooting is an isolated incident and they feel safe on campus.

"I still feel safe on campus after what happened. It's coincidence. It doesn't really happen on campus," Bova said.

"It's sad when anybody gets shot, but I definitely feel safe on campus," said Kahyaogou.

"I feel safe on campus. I think this is a really unlucky circumstance. I don't think this is something that's going to occur in the future. Case has done a good job with their security. I'm not concerned," said Shulia.

Police said the victim's friends are being credited with helping to save the his life by applying pressure to the gunshot wound until police arrived.

Members of the Cleveland Division of Police Use of Force Investigation Team are investigating the police shooting.

CWRU is working with the Little Italy community to improve safety, not just on their campus, but in the community as well.  The university said they are working with police and talking to the community to work to prevent these instances from ever happening.

The university will also be holding a Facebook Live Sunday night where they will take questions.  They said they are currently looking at different measures to reach out to students after this difficult incident.

"It's difficult to be able to guarantee we can prevent instances like this from ever happening. That's what I would love to be able to say. Believe me more than anything I would like to be able to deliver on it, but we can't do that because we don't control everything that happens," said CWRU President Barbara Snyder.

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