Update on Wednesday night incident at Chabad House

Read this message sent to the Elon community about a vehicle damaged by gunfire outside the Chabad House on Truitt Drive.

Find below the message sent by Vice President of Student Life Jon Dooley to the campus community following an incident Wednesday night in which a vehicle outside the Chabad House was struck by gunfire. 

Message from Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

I write with an update about a car damaged by gunfire outside the Chabad House on Truitt Drive early last evening. While we do not know who is responsible or what their motives are, the timing and location of this incident are extremely disturbing. It is understandable that many people are concerned and anxious, especially Jewish students, faculty and staff.

The safety and well-being of our community are top priorities for President Book and all the members of the university leadership team. We have asked the university Campus Safety and Police to support the Town of Elon Police with their investigation and to increase security on and around the campus.

Chabad is a local and international Jewish organization recognized by the university that maintains a facility located just south and east of the campus. Several dozen Elon students and others were at the Chabad House in observance of Yom Kippur last night. No one was hurt in the incident. Those in the house heard gunshots sometime between 6:30 and 7:30 and discovered the damage to the vehicle an hour or so later. They immediately notified Town of Elon Police, which in turn notified Elon Campus Police.

Here are important things to know:

  • There is an active investigation into this incident. If you have information that may be useful, please contact the Town Police at 336-584-1301 or contact Elon Campus Safety and Police at 336-278-5555.
  • Please be especially vigilant and report suspicious activities immediately by calling 911 or using the LiveSafe smartphone app.
  • Elon University Police and Town of Elon Police have increased foot and vehicle patrols on and around campus, with special attention to the university’s Sklut Hillel Center, the Chabad House and the Numen Lumen Pavilion.
  • Elon’s Jewish Life staff has reached out directly to Jewish students and parents to offer information and support.
  • Any student who would like to speak with a counselor or express personal concerns should access the extensive resources offered by the university. Information is at: https://www.elon.edu/u/administration/student-life/student-concerns/

While there is no indication of an ongoing threat to our community, there are sensible steps everyone should take at all times to protect themselves. Do not leave your property, vehicles, homes or residence halls unsecured. You may use the on-campus escort program with Campus Safety and Police by calling 336-278-5555. Walk in pairs or groups, especially during the evening and night. Always remain aware of your surroundings and do not become distracted by talking on your cell phone, listening to music through headphones or playing games on your phone.

Even as we await the outcomes of the investigation, this upsetting incident highlights the important role everyone plays in protecting our campus and supporting one another. Hate has no place at Elon and we stand together with those in our Jewish community, particularly at this holiest time in the Jewish year.

Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life