campus news

President Tripathi, UB police reassure university community

Baird Point pictured at sunset.

Photo: Douglas Levere

By JAY REY    

Published October 16, 2022

“Please know that the safety and well-being of the UB community is always our highest priority. ”
President Satish K. Tripathi

President Satish K. Tripathi issued a statement of comfort and condolence Saturday following the tragic incident Friday evening on the North Campus that led to the death of a Buffalo State College student.

UB police responded shortly after 7:30 p.m. Friday to the report of a male who suffered a chest wound at Moody Terrace Roadway, near Richmond Quad. The victim, later identified as Tyler Lewis, 19, a Buffalo State student from Baldwin, N.Y. on Long Island, was taken by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center, where he died.

Police believe Lewis was part of a  targeted incident.

“I want to reassure our campus community that university police believe there is no residual danger to campus from this incident,” Tripathi said in a statement. “Please know that the safety and well-being of the UB community is always our highest priority.”

Tripathi extended his condolences to the victim’s family, friends and the entire Buffalo State community, and encouraged anyone with information about this “horrible act of violence” to contact UB police at 716-645-2222.

UB Police Chief Chris Bartolomei said while Friday’s incident at the university is very upsetting, he reiterated that UB’s campuses are extremely safe.

“To be clear, this does not appear to be a random act of violence, but rather a targeted incident between known individuals,” Bartolomei said.

Staff from UB Counseling Services were available throughout the weekend to provide crisis consultations to students impacted by Friday’s incident. Students can continue to contact Counseling Services at 716-645-2720 for same-day or needs-assessment appointments.

Students also have access to a 24-hour hotline through Crisis Services of Erie County by calling 716-834-3131 or texting “GOT5” to 741-741. Text messages to Crisis Services are confidential, anonymous and secure.

Police have also identified a person of interest in the case and are requesting the public’s assistance in locating and identifying the individual.

Initial accounts provided by witnesses indicate this incident likely stemmed from a physical altercation between several individuals who most likely knew each other. Witnesses also reported that the person of interest had significant facial injuries and was in the area at the time of the incident, but left driving a black four-door sedan.

University police are searching for the vehicle and at least four individuals who may have been involved in the incident.

The person of interest is described as a white male, between 19 and 22 years of age, light brown hair, medium build, and approximately 5’5” to 5’9” in height. He was wearing a mustard-colored shirt that was covered in blood. He also had several cuts on his face, including a large diagonal laceration across his forehead.

“Our officers and investigators are working around the clock with local law enforcement partners to bring the individuals involved to justice,” Bartolomei said. “We appreciate the UB students and community members who have already come forward with information helpful to the investigation.”

As a precaution, UB police have increased patrolling on campus.