Students react to shooting incident near University

Martina Bretous/Staff Writer

Upon learning a shooting had occurred in her apartment complex, Ariana Olivero, senior communication arts major, says she was shocked and angry.

“I’ve lived in 4th commons since it opened last fall and I would’ve never expected this to ever happened here,” Olivero said to Student Media.

Early Saturday, Dec. 3, FIU student Micheal Zaldua, 21, was found dead in a parking garage located in 4th Street Commons, a building inhabited mostly by University students.

Zaldua suffered several gunshot wounds and died on the scene, according to NBC Miami.

Around 1:22 a.m., Olivero received a message from building managers informing her of the incident.

“We want to make you aware of an incident that has just occurred in the parking garage. We will provide you with updates in the morning or as soon as more information becomes available,” the message read.

The Miami-Dade Police Department ruled Zaldua’s death a homicide but have not yet identified a suspect, according to WSVN 7 News.

External Relations released a statement around noon on Dec. 3 confirming Zaldua was a student at the University. They also offered their condolences to friends and family of the victim and said the University will be offering support to those affected by his death.  

 While 4th Street Commons is privately run, some students felt the University should have alerted them and criticized their response time to the incident.

 “The University has no excuse to not have alerted us as quickly as possible about the situation because the shooter (to my knowledge) has not been caught,” said J.C. Greenup, senior psychology major, to Student Media. “The University should have put their alert system to good use, that they love testing at arbitrary times of the day, and use to tell use(sic) when things are happening around campus.”

Greenup says he is happy this is his last semester at FIU and no longer feels safe staying out past 6 p.m. Olivero echoed this sentiment.

 “I don’t feel as safe as I used to because the MDPD and SWPD hasn’t(sic) caught who shot the victim nor do we know why he was shot in the first place,” she said.

Olivero adds that the building should implement better safety procedures, namely cameras and controlled access to the garage area, to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.

In an email sent to 4th Street Commons residents on the day the incident., building managers said there has been an increase in courtesy officers on the property to monitor access to the parking garage.

Zaldua was a freelance photographer, interested in documenting performing artists and the arts, according to his website. As his loved ones learned the news, some shared their grief on social media.

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A GoFundMe page has been created for Zaldua. With an original goal of $10,000, the donations have surpassed that amount and reached $21,000 the numbers continue to climb.

This is a developing story, FIU Student Media will provide updates as it becomes available.

 

Image retrieved from Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/diversey/2498847226/

About the Author

Martina Bretous
Afro- Caribbean. Communication Arts Major. Cat lover. TV Junkie.

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