Standard apartment complex faces questions over safety planning, gunman remains unidentified
After a massive party ended in gunfire Saturday night, an off-campus housing complex has come under criticism by police officers for failing to ensure safety at the party.
The Stone Avenue Standard apartment complex, located a little more than a mile from campus, hosted about 1,000 or more people at a party Saturday night, according to Sgt. Maria Hawke, a spokeswoman for Tucson Police Department.
Although this is not the first time the complex has hosted a party, management failed to notify TPD or the Tucson Fire Department, Hawke said.
Typically, a business is supposed to check with the fire department on maximum occupancy at an event, as well as have a fire inspector determine if the complex is observing that occupancy limit, she added.
“If they’re going to have events like that, the expectation is, in order to maintain their zoning, they have to abide by the rules, which is if you’re going to have huge events like that, you make the appropriate notification to the authorities,” Hawke said. “In this case, they did not.”
The Standard hired private security for the event, rather than relying on TPD to provide off-duty officers for the event.
John Hiserman, property manager for the complex, declined to comment on whether or not management contacted TFD or TPD prior to the party.
“We’re still trying to damage control this and I know you guys are trying to sell ads and all that … but at the time being, we’re kind of keeping to ourselves,” Hiserman said.
The apartment residents who threw the party would release a final statement on the event’s Facebook page, Hiserman added. He would not comment further on the incident.
TPD officers received noise complaints regarding the party, but had no idea about the size of the event until they arrived, Hawke said.
Due to the number of calls Saturday night, TPD had not yet been able to dispatch officers to look into the complaints.
However, shortly before midnight, an attendee of the party fired multiple shots into the air. TPD responded with all available officers. Officers closed down Stone Avenue to get everyone across the street to an empty parking lot, Hawke said. There were no injuries.
Officers are examining videos taken at the event, some of which were posted on YouTube,Hawke said, to determine who fired the gun but the party’s size is making the investigation difficult.
“With so far as trying to identify who it was, with over a thousand people who were present there, efforts will continue that will include reaching out to the management,” Hawke said, “but there’s no guarantee they will be identified, obviously.”