Lyndsay Powell said parties at Campus Lodge Apartments happen to the point where they become routine. People gather at least two to three times a week outside building 2509, the same building where a party Saturday night ended with one teenager dead and another shot in the foot.
While two law enforcement deputies live on site at the complex, located off Livingston Avenue, it is unknown if they were in the area at the time or called to the scene, said Josie Dykes, vice president for Suite USA, corporate headquarters for Campus Lodge.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Harold Winsett said Matthew Douglas Lewis, 18, was not breathing when he was transported from the party and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Winsett said officials are still investigating the cause of Lewis’ death, and it may remain unknown for the next four to six weeks.
After an altercation, Winsett said Aaron Ray Doyne, 19, was shot in the foot.
Winsett could not confirm whether the teenagers were USF students.
Winsett said he is aware that deputies live on the property, but they could be responsible for duties that occur in Hillsborough County outside the complex.
“Just because they live on site doesn’t mean that’s where they work,” Winsett said.
Deputies received a call to report to a party at Campus Lodge at 11:46 p.m. and officials arrived six minutes later, Winsett said.
Dykes said she does not think the situation will call for extra safety measures, such as security patrolling parking lots at night. Besides the deputies who live on site, Dykes said other security includes a gatekeeper who is on duty at various hours through the night. Dykes added that the complex handles safety issues professionally and will continue to do so, but some situations are unpredictable.
“I don’t think in the days and times we live in we can ensure anyone’s safety,” Dykes said. “We make students aware of safety precautions before they move in.”
Dykes said residents are limited to five guests at once, and loud noise coming from an apartment building usually triggers a call to the sheriff’s department.
Several parties often spill outside into the breezeway of the buildings, Dykes said, which is a sign for deputies to check on the situation.
When Michele Legros, 22, returned to her apartment in 2509 after the weekend, she said she learned from her roommates that someone was killed outside her building.
“Two of my roommates left to go home with their parents for now because they don’t feel safe,” Legros said. “Everybody’s pretty creeped out about it.”
But in building 15001, resident Josh Lively said parties don’t occur often in his area, so he is not as concerned about his safety.
“Parties usually happen on the weekends. It’s common, but they’re not usually rowdy or anything,” Lively said.