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You know, between the rapes and the drive-by shootings, Durham doesn't sound like such a great place to be right now.

A letter was sent to Duke students from Larry Moneta, the Vice President for Students affairs, making students aware of the threat of a drive-by shooting of the infamous lacrosse house. Some excerpts from the letter:

I write to inform you of a rumor I've just learned. I don't have a way of validating the credibility of the rumor as it came to us third hand from the Durham Police to various members of the Duke community. What we've heard is threats of "drive by shooting" of the lacrosse house in the Trinity Park area.

I share this information with great discomfort. I neither want to create any sense of hysteria for the Duke and Trinity Park communities nor withhold the existence of this information. We've spoken with several of the students who live in those houses and many have chosen to stay elsewhere tonight.

So, yes, it's a third-hand rumor, but you may want to run like hell for your life. Just something to think about. But yeah, if you stay, you could get shot.

What an ugly situation. I'm guessing that these are not big sellers right now.

Big thanks to John Hubert at Duke for sending this in. The full letter is available after the jump.

Dear students,

I write to inform you of a rumor I've just learned. I don't have a way of validating the credibility of the rumor as it came to us third hand from the Durham Police to various members of the Duke community. What we've heard is threats of "drive by shooting" of the lacrosse house in the Trinity Park area. As of the time I write this (approximately 9pm), we are aware of a gang-related shooting that took place this afternoon on Sedgefield Street in Walltown (several blocks from Trinity Park). We are assured by Durham Police that this is not related to Duke in any way. We also have a report that passengers in a car yelled at Duke students in houses on Buchanen Street.

I share this information with great discomfort. I neither want to create any sense of hysteria for the Duke and Trinity Park communities nor withhold the existence of this information. We've spoken with several of the students who live in those houses and many have chosen to stay elsewhere tonight.

Duke and Durham Police have substantially increased patrol coverage of the area including Trinity Park, Ninth Street and East Campus. That coverage will remain in place for as long as necessary. I would suggest that until we have information to discredit or validate this rumor, we all take appropriate precautions.

Unfortunately, tensions are very high right now and may not abate for awhile. I would anticipate further rumors and conflicting information and we'll do our very best to keep you informed. Most important will be to care for each other as we all struggle with these challenges. We have work to do to restore confidence in our community and I have absolute belief that we can and will.

Please contact Duke Police *anytime* if you feel threatened or have information related to any unsafe situations. Call 911 or 684-2444 for immediate support.

Larry Moneta
Vice President for Student Affairs