Four male FAMU students went to visit a friend at Stadium Centre Friday evening. What was supposed to be a friendly meetup turned horrific very quickly.
A resident of Stadium Centre, later identified by the students as Don Crandall, refused to let the students enter the upscale Gaines Street complex. The situation got more hostile when Crandall, who is white, pulled a gun on the four FAMU students, all of whom are black.
The students were at the apartment complex to visit a friend. When they arrived they encountered Crandall, who told them they were not getting into the building unless they were residents with keys. The FAMU students explained to Crandall that they were visiting a friend who lived there. Another white resident, identified only as Chad, intervened to help the four FAMU students get into the building.
Isaiah Thomas, one of the four FAMU students, said, “Chad stepped in to help us because the other white man was being racist by not letting us in.”
After Crandall entered the building Stephen Brooks, another one of the FAMU students, caught the door to enter the building. The hostility between the FAMU students, Chad, and Crandall escalated as they all approached the elevator. Crandall told the students that this was his elevator and refused to let any of them on.
“You don’t belong in this building,” Crandall said, which was captured on video.
Chad claimed the FAMU students as his guest in an attempt to de-escalate the situation.
As the elevator opened and everyone tried to enter, Crandall used his body to block the entrance and said, “You think I’m f**ing kidding?”
Crandall proceded to pull a gun on the FAMU students as he continued to block them from getting on the elevator.
Brooks said, “Sir, you bringing out your gun, what is your purpose for that?”
The FAMU students stepped away from the elevator in an effort to protect themselves. Their friend Zayvion Flowers, who is a resident of Stadium Centre, came down the steps and brought his friends up to his apartment after the chilling encounter.
A video of the incident that shows the gun being waved at the students was posted to Thomas’ Twitter page. He wrote, “These are the kind of people burning Nike products. We are sick of the discrimination. Never thought I’d have a personal experience with racism like this. This man pulled a gun on us because we were walking up to my friend’s apartment without a key.”
Thomas said they did not call law enforcement because “that would have just been another black man dead.”
Many others commented on the video online with similar fury from their own experiences. Annie Moore commented, “This is my apartment complex. It’s so many racists here. I was taking a snap and noticed a whole Confederate and Trump flag hanging from my neighbor’s balcony.”
The video had garnered over 286,000 views on Twitter by Monday morning and over 5,500 retweets since it was posted Saturday morning.
Stadium Centre only advertised to FSU and TCC students this summer even though FAMU is just as close. An employee at Stadium Centre said, “We would rather not comment on the situation until we have more details.” Camera footage will only be pulled for residents filing complaints and at the request of the police.
To view the video, click on the link – Gun pulled out on FAMU students.