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UofL students raise safety, security concerns at off-campus apartment complex

Students who live in the Marshall are complaining about crime and lack of security. Some say with those problems, they can't get out fast enough.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Five months into 2021, it’s another year of detectives spread thin, struggling to keep up with the continued caliber of violent crimes which is killing Louisville Metro.

Homicides are also on another record pace.

Two people were shot at the Marshall apartments on South Fourth Street in the early morning hours of Feb. 25.

“I was on the elevator when I heard the gunshots go off,” University of Louisville student Jade Russell said. “Gunshots go off and [I hear] people yelling, arguing.”

One was rushed to UofL Hospital in critical condition while the other, 18-year-old Bryan Fundora, was shot several times and pronounced dead at the hospital.

“When I asked the management, they said it was like over shoes or something – someone had gotten into an argument over some shoes,” Russell said.

What Russell said management didn’t tell her was that someone got shot.

“Oh, somebody died? Another person critically injured? Wow,” she said in disbelief.

It was clearly news to Russell as it was for fellow student Luis Rodriguez.

“I didn’t even know about that – that’s news to me actually,” he said.

The only thing really communicated, Rodriguez said, is that security would be stepped up.

“They did send an email saying they were going to, but I really haven’t seen anything of a change.”

One of the amenities the Marshall advertises is its security. In a virtual tour video on its website, they said all access points within the complex can be accessed with a key fob.

At least one access point has been broken for months, according to Kyle Kindzierski.

“It gives you access to almost anywhere in the building,” he said.

Once inside the garage, the 20-year-old said, the easiest way to bypass needing the fob to get on the elevator is just waiting for someone else to get off it.

Why some are breaking their lease

Even though the building is practically brand new, in just its first year of student living, Kindzierski had enough and decided to break his lease.

With his father’s help with the big stuff, the sophomore moved out to spend the rest of the semester at home in Northern Kentucky, finishing classes remotely.

“All are my classes are online, so it really doesn’t affect me,” he explained. “I just don’t really feel safe living here.”

His father, Pete, cited safety as the very reason for breaking the lease.

“Security door is right here. Not security used, right there – that just tells the story. It’s not safe,” he explained.

From August 2020 to March 25, 2021, FOCUS found that 37 times a crime was reported in the 2400 block of South Fourth Street, according to police records. It’s the same block which is the Marshall.

Many crimes have happened including vandalism, thefts, assaults and the most serious being the homicide.

The FOCUS team tried reaching the owner and operator of The Marshall, B-H Management in Dallas, Texas, via phone calls and emails for comment, but were unsuccessful.

Credit: WHAS-TV
The Marshall

“I’ve gotten zero responses,” Pete said.

He said he hadn’t got far either, however, an email he provided from building management the day following the deadly shooting claimed there would be at night heightened police presence, the potential of wanding residents and guest with metal detectors and security guards posted at all entrances.

The FOCUS team saw none of that after returning Apr. 17.

In fact, the door that anyone could open with a simple tug had the entire key fob lock ripped out.

Meanwhile, Russell relies on her dog for her protection because her apartment lock doesn’t work as well.

“They’ve been notified multiple times that it doesn’t lock,” she said.

There are also her smoke detectors which randomly go off.

“I’m kind of numb to everything about this place,” she said.

Russell complains a lot goes unfixed, at least for a while, including the parking garage gate which she and others point out had not closed in the past. It requires some maneuvering to get it open.

Credit: WHAS-TV
The parking garage at the Marshall.

“My car got broken into twice in the parking garage that I was paying for the parking for,” she explained.

Regardless, Russell plans to fulfill her lease and so does Rodriguez but then move out like Kindzierski did, but he did it early.

"They really do need to step up security I'd say," he said. 

Credit: WHAS-TV
Luis Rodriguez

Even though the Marshall caters to UofL students and it’s located right off campus, the university said it has no ties to the apartment building.

Contact reporter John Charlton at jcharlton@whas11.com. Follow him on Twitter (@JCharltonNews) and Facebook.  

Have a story tip? Contact the FOCUS Investigative team at FOCUS@whas11.com

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