A young college student struggles for her life while she is repeatedly stabbed for simply remaining friends with an ex-boyfriend. Blood skews her dorm room walls as she screams for any sort of savior from this heinous attack. Her cries for help alert her roommate from the hallway who immediately seeks help to stop the brutal attack. Aid from her Resident Assistant finally arrives, but right in time to hear her attacker say "I hope you die, and I'm going to die too."
This isn't a climatic scene from a cheesy daytime soap opera or a dramatic reenactment from America's Most Wanted. This happened here. On campus. At Florida State. This was a merciless reality in Ragan's Hall last Thursday afternoon for 19 year old student Gabriella Stroude.
It didn't take long for the influx of Facebook status' joking about the attack came rolling in and FSU memes page to take hold of the situation. I'll admit I initially laughed about the stabbing with my roommates because I didn't know any of the details and thought it wasn't too serious. Just another annoying FSU alert text message, I thought. But this isn't funny and this is far from a light-hearted incident. A student at our university's life was almost cut short by someone she knew and willingly allowed in her dorm room.
According to an affidavit released by local police, around 3:15 p.m on Thursday, March 15, fellow FSU student, 19 year old Reginald Luster, became upset when upon learning that Stroude had remained friends with an ex-boyfriend. He asked Stroude to look at something on his cell phone but when she refused it triggered Luster to begin attacking her with an eight-inch knife. Resident assistant Keith Holt went to the dorm room after being notified of the attack and reportedly saw Luster "hobbling around" and Stroude in an arm chair covered in a large amount of blood. The victim asked Holt for water and said, "I'm dying, please come here." In his statement, Holt claimed he heard Luster say, "she stabbed me" and "call my father".
Luster refused to speak with anyone until he was able to speak with his father after being transported to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. According to Stroude, Luster was the one to stab himself after he finished stabbing her. Police did not specify what the relationship between the two students was but they did confirm that they knew each other before the incident. Luster is being charged with attempted murder in the 1st degree and no charges have been filed against Stroude.
FSUPD have numerous methods of pre-cautionary measures to prevent crime or give students a way to quickly seek help if a crime has occurred. They have set up 400 strategically placed light poles called Emergency Blue Light Telephones across campus. If you are threatened, see anything suspicious, or require any type of police assistance quickly, just push the emergency button to be connected with the FSU Police dispatcher. They also offer a "S.A.F.E. Connection" bus to all students that runs 7:00pm-3:00am 7 days a week. It is a free transportation service for crime prevention that is provided to students who feel unsafe walking across campus late at night. Of course, almost every FSU student is well aware of the Crime Alert system. This is Florida State's emergency notification system. If there is a condition which threatens the health and safety of students on campus, university officials will warn the campus via Text Messages or email.
Student's are constantly warned to be careful on campus and to be wary of suspicious strangers, but how do you prepare for the possibility that your attacker could be someone you know and trust?