Source AP ©

Student shot down at prestigious U.S. university

After a Senegalese student was shot down at a prestigious U.S. university, authorities try to persuade students in their safety on the campus which is near dirty and dangerous slums.

Amadou Cisse, who the University of Chicago said was 29, was shot and killed early Monday while walking near campus - less than an hour after a university staff member was shot at while also walking nearby and two female students were robbed at gunpoint, police said.

University officials came under fire Monday for not notifying students about Cisse's death or the other incidents for nine hours. Officials said they were proceeding cautiously to gather facts.

Police presence was increased at the university on Tuesday and the school's president, Robert Zimmer, said in a letter to students that they would indefinitely increase University Police patrols.

The university has long grappled with security issues, with some nearby neighborhoods that have struggled with gun violence and economic woes.

Cisse, a graduate student in chemistry, had successfully defended his doctoral thesis in recent weeks, officials said. The Senegalese Embassy in Washington said he was the son of a deceased military officer and his mother, two brothers and a sister live in Dakar, the African nation's capital.

It was shortly before 1:30 a.m. Monday that witness saw a gunman fire a shot at Cisse's chest before fleeing in a car, police said. Police said the incident may have been an attempted robbery, although Cisse's wallet and books were left behind.

Cisse was to receive his diploma Dec. 7. The university says it will award the degree posthumously.

"He was incredibly happy last week," Cisse's faculty adviser, professor Steven Sibener, said in a release issued by the university. "He smiled ear-to-ear and just sat back and enjoyed his accomplishment."

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