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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Belmont University student shot in Edgehill, passes away from injuries

The student was admitted to VUMC in critical condition on Nov. 7 and passed away from her injuries the following night.
Arianna Santiago
A person goes for a walk on the track next to Edgehill Community Memorial Garden and William Edmonton Homesite Park, with Belmont University in the distance, as photographed on Nov. 8, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Arianna Santiago)

Belmont University first-year Jillian Ludwig suffered an “accidental” gunshot wound to the head on the afternoon of Nov. 7 when walking on the track in Edgehill Community Memorial Gardens Park, per statements shared on X by the Metro Nashville Police Department. Ludwig was admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in “extremely critical condition” up to an hour after the shooting and passed away from her injuries the following evening.  

An AlertVU was not sent out to Vanderbilt students following the incident. In an email to The Hustler, Vanderbilt University Public Safety stated that there was no evidence to suggest that the shooting was an ongoing threat to the Vanderbilt community. The park where the incident occurred is a 10-minute walk away from Commons.

“Based on the information provided by MNPD, and that the suspect’s identity and location were known to MNPD at the time, it was determined an AlertVU message would not assist the community in making immediate safety decisions,” VUPS said. “When it has been determined that a suspect has been identified and captured, an incident is not a threat to the community, or an incident targeted a particular individual, an AlertVU message will not be sent to the community.”

According to the statement on X, the gunfire came from public housing across the street. At around 10 p.m. CST on Nov. 7, an update was posted stating that a suspect was in custody. The suspect was allegedly shooting at a nearby car when a stray bullet struck Ludwig, according to MNPD, and has now been charged with aggravated assault and evidence tampering. 

Ludwig passed away during the night of Nov. 8, according to an update posted on X at 9 a.m. CST this morning. MNPD is in discussion with the District Attorney’s Office about modifying the charges against the suspect.

A statement from District Attorney Glenn Funk stated that the suspect was previously prosecuted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on April 13. Three court-appointed doctors testified that the suspect was “incompetent” to stand trial, prohibiting the prosecution and mandating that Judge Angelita Dalton dismiss the case. 

However, the suspect did not meet the eligibility requirements to be involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. Tennessee law requires certifications from two doctors affirming that an individual is suffering from a mental illness — that causes them to be a risk to others or themselves — for involuntary commitment. 

“This nearly impossible standard impacts public safety. The law must be altered to accurately balance individual needs with public safety,” Funk said. 

Belmont University President Dr. Greg Jobes conveyed his sorrow and sympathy in a Nov. 8 email to the Belmont community. 

“Jillian is an engaged member of our community who is known for her love of music and its incredible power,” Jones wrote. “I will be convening a prayer service at noon at the bell tower for our entire community to pray for Jillian and her family.”

Clarissa McGhee, a Vanderbilt first-year, said hearing about emergencies near campus is worrisome. 

“It’s kind of scary knowing that such a tragic event happened so close to what is supposed to be a safe space for the students,” McGhee said. “It could have just as easily happened to a Vanderbilt student, somebody I know, and that’s a bit hard to come to terms with.”

Lyndsay Sams, a Belmont senior, expressed sorrow and fear about the incident prior to the news of Ludwig’s passing.

“It’s so sad and scary. I love going for runs and walks, and [the incident happened] so close to both Vanderbilt and Belmont,” Sams said. “I’m praying for the student who is in the hospital, her family and friends and for the safety of everyone in the area.”

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About the Contributors
Swarada Kulkarni
Swarada Kulkarni, Staff Writer
Swarada Kulkarni (‘27) is majoring in neuroscience in the College of Arts and Science. Outside of writing for The Hustler, she enjoys singing, reading books and exploring new restaurants with her friends. She can be reached at [email protected].
Arianna Santiago
Arianna Santiago, Senior Staff Photographer
Arianna Santiago ('24) is from Bremerton, Wash., and studying electrical and computer engineering in the School of Engineering. When not shooting for The Hustler or for freelance work, Arianna can be found leading campus tours, organizing events for University Catholic, attempting to study and procrastinating her lab reports. You can reach her at [email protected].
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8 months ago

It was reckless ! Not an accident. This vermin was out on the street because a failed DA and Judge allowed it. He shot a fire arm at a car in a public area without regard for life. He’s a multiple felon. Get it right!

8 months ago
Reply to  BWAG

Also share his mugshot!