Mars Hill football players attacked by gang (updated Feb. 6)
    March 5 2009 by BR staff

    Mars Hill College officials are evaluating their security measures after two football players and two other students were held at gunpoint during a gang-related attack on the school’s campus March 2.

    “We continually evaluate our safety and security measures on campus and are pleased to see that they worked in the manner intended in this situation, preventing the suspects from gaining entry to one of our residence halls,” Mars Hill spokesman Mike Thornhill said. “And we'll, of course, continue those safety evaluations to see if there are any further measures we need to take, in light of this incident.”

    Six people were arrested in connection with the attack, which happened at an apartment on the Mars Hill campus, according to the News-Record & Sentinel, which covers the area. Police identified four of the suspects — three men and a 16-year-old boy — as gang members, the paper reported. Two women were also arrested.

    None of the suspects were students, according to WLOS, a television station in the region.

    The four men were charged with robbery with a firearm, assault by pointing a gun, kidnapping and discharging a weapon on educational property, the News-Record & Sentinel reported. The two women face charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon, according to the paper.

    Authorities said one of the women knew one of the students and enlisted the men to go with her to collect a debt. The suspects first went to a dormitory but when they could not get in the building, they went to the apartment looking for the student.

    After one of the women convinced the students to open the door, the four men wearing blue bandannas stormed inside, officials told the paper.

    One of the students got away and dialed 911, the News-Record & Sentinel reported. Another stayed in a bedroom, but the suspects stuck a gun in the mouth of one student and held a gun at the back of another.

    Authorities said that when one of the attackers started beating a student with a gun, it went off, causing the gunmen to flee. The bullet passed through several interior walls of the town house.

    “We appreciate the quick response of the Mars Hill Police Department, the Madison County Sheriff's Office, and the other agencies involved, and are thankful that no serious injuries resulted from this incident,” Thornhill said.

    3/5/2009 10:26:00 AM by BR staff | with 0 comments

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