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Chico State student shot, killed outside home - The Red and Black : News

Chico State student shot, killed outside home

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Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2004 12:00 am

CHICO, Calif. -- Police, family and friends of a Chico State student who was shot and killed Friday night outside the front door of his Hazel Street home are baffled by the lack of witnesses to the homicide.

Junior Christopher Wallace Herrmann, 22, was pronounced dead at Enloe Medical Center with a single gunshot wound to the head, said Sgt. Dave Barrow of Chico police.

"There were no witnesses," Barrow said. "You'd think people would hear the shots and go outside to investigate.

"He was found by a friend who came over to visit him, not by someone who came outside to investigate."

This is what has Herrmann's ex-girlfriend Laura Oustin angry.

She said she doesn't understand how such a crowded neighborhood wouldn't have any witnesses to Herrmann's death.

"That it happened at 8:30 at night in a popular neighborhood doesn't make any sense," Oustin said. "It all doesn't make any sense."

Barrow said drugs were found inside the home, but the homicide did not appear to be a home invasion.

"We really don't have a motive for this," Barrow said.

But Chico State senior Jeff Oji said it was no secret that Herrmann was into drugs.

Oji has known Herrmann since the two attended Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento and said he hadn't heard about the shooting until Monday night.

Oji said he thinks the shooting was drug-related.

"I'm not shocked as to why he was shot," Oji said. "I knew he was pretty into drugs. I'm shocked as to how he was shot."

Barrow said it appeared the shooter had gone to Herrmann's home intending to shoot him.

Herrmann was found lying right outside of his front door by a friend who arrived 15 minutes after talking to him on the phone, Barrow said.

Police have interviewed several people who heard the shot and are working on leads that have developed from calls into the police station.

Steve White said he heard the shot from his Hazel Street home, a couple of houses from Herrmann's.

"We thought it was a firecracker," said White, a Butte College student.

White said it wasn't until police cars showed up and the street was blocked off that he realized exactly what he had heard.

The street remained blocked off until 4 a.m. as crime scene investigators examined evidence, Barrow said.

White said the last thing he thought of was that a gun produced the "pop" he heard Friday night.

"We didn't even think twice about it," White said. "Maybe because it's downtown Chico."

Flood displaces MSU students

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- A month after a third-floor water-pipe burst and crippled an East Lansing apartment building, some Michigan State University students are still without a home.

As clean-up crews gut apartments and renovate the building, residents have been forced to relocate until the work is done and the building passes inspections.

Several businesses located on the ground floor of the building have also been forced out.

"It was a failure of the material of the pipe," said Howard Asch, East Lansing's director of code enforcement and neighborhood conservation.

"This is really rare," he said.

The approximately 16,000-square-foot building with 14 apartment units sustained up to $500,000 worth of damage, said the building's owner, Evert Kramer.

Supply chain management senior Chad Bishop and his roommate rent one of six units that are uninhabitable because of damage.

Bishop was watching the MSU basketball team face off against the University of Kentucky at the BasketBowl in Detroit on Dec. 13 when a friend called his cell phone to tell him his apartment was flooding.

When Bishop returned to his apartment the next morning, his computer, television, DVD player and furniture all were ruined, he said.

"I was able to salvage my clothes and some DVDs, but that's about it," Bishop said.

Bishop and his roommate did not have renter's insurance but are looking into their parents' homeowner's insurance for relief, he said.

In cases where a tenant cannot prove landlord negligence or that the disaster was intentional, the landlord cannot be held responsible, said MaryAnn Pierce, director of clinical programs at MSU-DCL College of Law.

Bishop said his landlord never offered an alternative place to live but has promised to reimburse him and his roommate for every day they are displaced.

UCF allows laptops in student elections

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A change to the University of Central Florida's Student Government Association election rules has authorized political candidates there to use personal computers to gather votes.

At the weekly SGA senate meeting Thursday, the bill authorizing the campaign tactic drew overwhelming Senate support, passing 39 to 2.

Despite the margin of victory, though, senators debated the bill for more than 90 minutes, forcing the postponement of some legislative issues to the next meeting.

Senators finally approved the bill within 10 minutes of the Senate meeting's legally mandated conclusion.

During the fall senatorial campaigns, candidates lobbed accusations of voter coercion over use of laptop computers at stations around campus.

In both elections, students and candidates said voting wasn't fair because the candidates were standing next to voters as they cast their ballots through candidate-owned laptops connected to UCF's wireless Internet system.

Though senators debated at length the ethical dilemma of voter coercion, they conceded little could be done to monitor or prevent candidates from coercing voters.

-- Compiled By Purvi Patel, Contributing: The Orion, The State News, The Central Florida Future, Marquette Tribune.

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