One injured and no arrests made in shooting on School Street
A 19-year-old male non-Dartmouth student was shot Friday night near the Christian Science Reading Room, located at 1 School Street. Hanover dispatch received the medical call around 9:45 p.m. The victim was taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and is in stable condition.
In a press conference early Saturday morning, Hanover Police chief Charlie Dennis said there is no current suspect and that the case is an ongoing investigation. No individuals have been detained or arrested.
Students received indication of the shooting through messages and phone calls from friends and the Dartmouth Alert system. Around 10 p.m., DartAlert sent out an email indicating that a single gunshot had been fired in the area of School Street and West Wheelock Street in Hanover and continued to send email updates throughout the night. The emails also stated that the police were actively searching for the responsible party and advised students to stay where they were.
A witness to the shooting said she was walking down School Street around 9:40 p.m. when a car drove by her “really fast.” She said she then heard something that “sounded like a slam.”
“I thought it was a gunshot at first — then I was like, ‘There’s no way there’s a gunshot in Hanover,’” the witness said.
The witness said she then heard someone scream and saw him lying on the ground.
“I thought it was a hit and run honestly,” she said.
Dennis did not confirm whether the gun had been shot from a car.
The College and the Hanover Police received reports of other shots at multiple locations by people in the area. However, Dennis said that the Hanover Police Department has not confirmed any other shots. At 12:35 a.m., the College had lifted the shelter-in-place order it had instituted.
Quickly after the victim was taken away in an ambulance, the Hanover Police Department established a perimeter near the intersection between School and West Wheelock Streets. An officer from Lebanon on scene said that the state police and police from neighboring jurisdictions such as Enfield, Lebanon and Canaan were also in the area providing assistance and investigating all shooting reports.
"This is not a typical evening in Hanover," he said.
At Sigma Delta sorority, which is located on School Street, members were initially confused when they heard sirens and saw an ambulance, and fire and police trucks. One member had seen someone lying down on the pavement outside the house through an upstairs window, and assumed they had fallen.
Eventually, the heavily armed police presence made it apparent that the situation was more serious.
"Everyone acted like everything was normal and then all of sudden we heard there was a shooter," said one sorority member.
Then, students went into "lockdown." Members of the sorority turned off lights, pulled down the shades and tried to minimize movements between rooms. In some rooms, students sat in silence and listened to the police scanner. In other rooms, students watched a movie or made conversation.
The police also took statements from some sorority members and friends of the victim.
The Dartmouth Coach from New York City was initially diverted to Lebanon, and Hanover residents were told to stay there until Hanover Police notified the driver that it was safe to drive back to Hanover. The Coach had returned to campus by 11 p.m.
When the shelter-in-place was lifted later in the evening, Hanover Police captain Mark Bodanza said, “We don’t believe there is an immediate threat to anybody who is on campus at this point."
Dennis said that Safety and Security is not involved in the ongoing investigation.
“As far as we know it’s a shooting that occurred on a town of Hanover street,” Dennis said.
Sonia Qin contributed reporting.