Shots fired at local apartment complex

By Jordan Corona
Staff Writer

An unidentified person opened fire around 5 a.m. today at La Mirage Apartments.

The apartment complex is at the corner of Ninth and Baylor Street, less than half a mile from Collins Residence Hall.

Chief Jim Doak of the Baylor Police Department said the 911 call was made to the Waco Police Department but, because the Baylor police officers listen to the scanner for both departments, they decided to arrive on the scene first.

Alex Fleischhauer and Amber Sepeda have a one-month-old baby boy. She changed her son’s diaper and wrapped him in a blanket when the gunshots disturbed silence right outside her front door at La Mirage Apartment complex Wednesday.

“We immediately grabbed the baby and hid in the backroom,” Sepeda said. “It was right outside our door. We haven’t opened the door since the police came this morning.”

Bullet casings fell to the pavement and one landed in front of the family’s apartment. Fleischhauer said he found the spent round on their door mat which police later collected. Sepeda and Fleischhauer were leaving their apartment Wednesday afternoon and trying to decide what to do for their child’s safety.

Since officers could not find any damage to nearby property and no injuries were reported, Doak said officers believe the shots were fired in the air. The man who fired the shots was described as black, slender and having worn a dark, hooded sweatshirt.

Doak said Baylor police officers searched the campus but there was no trail left by the suspect and the search has ended. Although Baylor students were not in any perceived danger, Doak said it is customary to warn students through the Baylor Alert Email system. Awareness of any possible danger is key for students, Doak said.

Sgt. Patrick Swanton, Waco Police public information officer, said police visited the scene but did not arrest anyone. He said the student alert Baylor police sent out was a necessary caution. “We choose to err on the side of letting the student body know,” Doak said. “We don’t want to cause a commotion but we’re not going to keep our heads in the sand either.”

Edrena Willis didn’t want to cause a commotion either, but she had just moved to the complex last Friday. There’s not much in Willis’ apartment living space right now, two chairs, a coffee table and a few toys for her grandsons who visit four or five times a week.

“I just moved from Kate Ross to get away from the violence,” she said. “I’m just noticing it might not be as safe as I thought.”