ATLANTA — Police are investigating after several students were the victims of separate armed robberies Thursday night on the Georgia State University campus.
Channel 2's Justin Gray was on the GSU campus, where the first robbery happened at the campus library around 11:45 p.m. The second was three blocks away in front of the law building.
Police told Gray they think they are dealing with two different attackers.
Gray spoke to one student, who said a man put a gun to his face and demanded his laptop, wallet and cellphone steps from the library.
Gray also spoke to one of the victims of the other attack, who said the motive seemed to be to kidnap the victims, not just rob them.
Senior Paul Nkengasong told Gray he was walking to meet a friend at the library when he said two men came at him with a gun and demanded his backpack.
"When the guy with the gun comes up to me, cocks it in my face, that's when I just let him have the bag," Nkengasong said. "And then after that, they ask me to empty my pockets, and I grab my wallet and keys and throw them on the ground and run toward the library."
Minutes later, there was another armed robbery near the law school. Another Georgia State student and a recent graduate were approached by a man in a car, police said.
According to the incident report, the robber got out and grabbed one of the women by her hair, dragging her toward the trunk of his car. She got away, but he made off with her wallet, firing a gunshot into the air.
Both students told Gray they want their classmates to be careful.
"I'm just, like, really insistent on getting this solved," Nkengason said. "I just don't want this to happen to anyone else on campus. It's a terrible thing."
GSU Police Chief Joseph Spillane told Gray that the two attacks appear to be unrelated.
"We're looking into both of these incidents, reviewing video camera," Spillane said. "We are shifting resources to impact this, make sure it doesn't become any kind of pattern."
These robberies come just days after police said two men got in car with a 20-year-old female student in a parking lot near the stadium, pistol-whipped her and robbed her. That incident happened Sept. 27. Police are still searching for the suspect.
Spillane said police are deploying more officers on golf carts, motorcycles and bicycles and increasing the overtime for officers at night.
There have been seven total robberies on campus this year. There were also seven in 2018 and 10 in 2017. It's not a large number for a school with 53,000 students, which is why police are so concerned about Thursday night.
"Anytime we see two incidents like that in one night, and the recent incident at the stadium, it's a disturbing trend we want to stop," Spillane said.
No one has been arrested in any of the robberies.
Police said they don't think these latest two robberies were related to the incident in the parking lot near the stadium. The police chief told Gray they have now identified a person of interest in that crime.
Police do think the robberies Thursday night could be related to a carjacking last night in Atlanta. A man was carjacked on Delmar Lane in northwest Atlanta about half an hour before the two women were attacked. In both cases, the man was wearing a fishing hat.
© 2020 Cox Media Group