BREAKING: Shooting reported at Centennial Park

Students received an initial AlertVU message at 5:32 p.m. CDT today informing them of the shooting.


Miguel Beristain

Centennial Park, as photographed Oct. 25, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Miguel Beristain)

Aaditi Lele, Duaa Faquih and Katherine Oung

An AlertVU notification was sent to the Vanderbilt community at 5:32 p.m. CDT, reporting that a shooting had taken place near campus at Centennial Park. The message instructed the community to avoid the area until further notice. 

VUPS sent a second AlertVU notification to the campus community at 5:42 p.m. CDT, informing the community to resume normal activities and continue to avoid the area. The message also stated that Metro Nashville Police Department was responding to the shooting and gave the “all clear” for the area.

A third and final AlertVU notification was sent to students at 5:55 p.m. CDT, stating that police had cleared the scene, and to resume normal traffic.

First-year Colin Vess said the first alert made him nervous.

“As a freshman, I haven’t been exposed to anything like that going on around campus,” Vess said.

Vess added that he thinks AlertVU was effective in reaching students but not at informing them of a course of action following the shooting.

“I think it is an effective way to get the message out there, but definitely not [informing students on] what to do,” Vess said. “I felt panicked, we were trying to Google stuff and see where it was or if we needed to go anywhere or stay in place.”

Junior and Zeppos resident Ben Gross said that the notification, while timely, was unexpected. Zeppos college is approximately across the street from Centennial Park.

“I felt better that I was notified rather than having to look outside and see a bunch of cop cars,” Gross said. “I wasn’t expecting a shooting to be so close to campus.”

Gross also said AlertVU’s reliance on phone calls to students can result in missed information when students are in class or not attentive to their phones. He added that the alerts should also prioritize students in geographic proximity to the events, similar to Amber Alerts.

“I would make it a priority to, if someone lived in Zeppos, to have a real noise notification because it’s just so close [to Zeppos],” Gross said.

Gross also said the alert did not provide enough information to students about the geographic proximity of the shooting to campus.

“Centennial is huge. If I was on the far side [from campus], I would have had no concern whatsoever,” Gross said. “But if I was walking to Satay and it was on that corner, it would have been good to know.”

As of publication, VUPD declined to offer any more information about the shooting.

This piece will be updated as more information becomes available.