Students at North Carolina Central University are expressing frustration at the shooting death of a fellow student. They are also concerned about the living conditions at the off-campus apartment complex where 23-year-old DeAndre Ballard was shot and killed.
Ballard was a senior at NCCU and lived at Campus Crossings at Durham, on E. Cornwallis Road. Ballard allegedly got into a confrontation with a security guard there last month, which led to his death.
DeAndre Lee is a sophomore at NCCU. He says students don’t know what to think.
“I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of the real story. All I know is he got shot by a security guard, that’s it," said Lee. " Nobody can tell me further of that information.”
Students at NCCU have led at least one public protest, walking out of class to bring attention to Ballard's death and to push for answers. The Durham Police Department says the shooting is still being investigated. The university held a vigil to honor Ballard on September 23. Ballard was fatally shot almost a week earlier, on September 17.
Safety issues have come up before at Campus Crossings. In a statement, NCCU said it is "not associated with and does not have any contractual agreement with Campus Crossings," even though many students live there.
NCCU also said, "NCCU does not endorse or recommend any specific rental property for students."
“I wish they could be more, sincere, I would say about the situation," said Lee. "This is one of our Eagles. He was a senior, he was going to graduate this school year.”
Lee says he has several friends who live at Campus Crossings, and he was considering moving there from the dorms. But not anymore, because of safety concerns.
Lejae Cleveland says she considered moving to the apartments too. But the NCCU senior says she decided not to, long before Ballard was killed.
“There isn’t enough safety when it comes to Campus Crossings. For Central to promote where to live when there is no more housing on campus, that needs to be the safest resort," said Cleveland.
Media reports say it took three days to identify Ballard because he did not have any identification on him when his body was discovered.