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Stabbing victim in recovery

Written by: Will Lewis / Photo by: Von Kennedy

 

The VSU student that was stabbed early Thursday night is recovering and was released from Shands Hospital on Monday.

Antoine Bray, sophomore vocal performance major, was questioned by officials from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and VSUPD on Tuesday about the assault.

“I know that (the GBI) have interviewed him,” Major Anne Farmer, VSUPD, said. “I know that Will Leschber went with (Agent Callahan) yesterday to his home, where he’s from, to interview him.”

Bray said that his recovery is going well since the incident.

“I’m doing pretty good,” Bray said. “The recovery is going well. (It’s) just a grueling process. I’m not gonna know when I’m coming back (to school) until the doctor tells me.”

Bray also said that he was not allowed to comment on the investigation.

At 9:28 p.m. Thursday night Sgt. Heidi Bertsch, VSUPD, was dispatched to the area between Reade Hall and Georgia Hall to respond to a stabbing.

Witnesses reported seeing Bray running towards the two residence halls after the incident.

Officer Caleb Reid was the first to respond to the scene and immediately began to administer first aide. Sgt. Leschber credited Reid’s actions with helping to save Bray’s life.

VSU utilized its campus alert system to notify students of the assault.

“There has been a stabbing in VSU pedestrian mall area,” the alert read. “VSU Police on the scene. Anyone with information should call 229-259-5555 with information.”

Special Agt. Steve Turner, GBI, said Bray was stabbed near Nevins Hall, before being found by Georgia Hall.

Bray was transported from campus to South Georgia Medical Center and later transferred to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Fla.

VSUPD partnered with VPD and the GBI to establish a perimeter around the scene and gather clues. The Valdosta Crime Lab worked with police through the night.

Buildings around campus were closed down as police combed the area for a suspect. Residence halls remained on shutdown until 11:58 p.m.

The on-scene investigation was concluded and the scene was cleaned at approximately 2:30 a.m.

Agt. Michael Callahan, GBI, was selected to head up the investigation with the assistance of VSUPD.

Bray maintained a steady stream of updates on his Facebook page before being released from the hospital Monday.

Turner declined to comment on any progress made in the investigation and on if a suspect had been named.

The violent assault has caused students to question how safe they are on campus.

“It was a scary thing to know that we are an open campus and to know that people do come on campus and attack people was a scary thing,” Kirstie Douglas, senior accounting major, said.

“I do feel like our security needs to be better, like, the motion sensor lights need to actually work properly,” Christopher Duncun, sophomore accounting major, said. “They turn off when people walk by them.”

According to Thressea Boyd, director of VSU Communications, there have been no major changes regarding security on campus.

“Valdosta State’s highest priority is the continued safety of the campus community and safety processes and procedures are under continual evaluation,” Boyd said. “Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings and report suspicious activity to the VSU Police.”

Farmer emphasized the importance of vigilance on the part of the student. The buddy system, she said, is essential to remaining safe on campus.

She also addressed the availability of university police for escorts in and around campus.

In order for students to get an escort they should call from one of the many campus call boxes, or phone the non-emergency police number.

VSUPD also offer student safety tips to anyone who comes to the office with concerns about their well-being at school.

Any students with information regarding the stabbing should contact VSUPD at 229-259-5555.

 

(Original story.)

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