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University Of Chicago Safety Plan Includes More Shuttle Buses, CPD Pod Cameras As Search Continues For Killer Of Recent Grad Dennis Shaoxiong Zheng

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Police Thursday night were still looking for the person who shot and killed University of Chicago alum Dennis Shaoxiong Zheng this week.

Zheng was the third University of Chicago student killed this year. He lost his life when he was shot during a robbery at 54th Place and Ellis Avenue on Tuesday afternoon.

Dennis Shaoxiong Zheng
Dennis Shaoxiong Zheng (Credit: University of Chcago)

Police said Zheng was on the sidewalk shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday – when out of nowhere, a vehicle pulled up, and a gunman jumped out and demanded his property.

The attacker then shot Zheng in the chest, got back in the vehicle, and fled the scene. It was not clear whether he even took anything.

As CBS 2's Jermont Terry reported Thursday night, the U of C said Thursday that it is now implementing some new changes to keep students safe.

As it is and has been for many years, there are 350 emergency blue light phones across the entire U of C campus, and many are also equipped with cameras. In light of Zheng's murder off campus, the U of C is working on short- and long-term safety plans to ensure all students are safe.

But as the U of C community continues to mourn, many are looking to the university to explain the safety plan. Both Chicago Police and University of Chicago Police have already increased patrols – but what about those walking in and around the U of C campus?

On Thursday, the university revealed that shuttle bus service has been expanded, and students can also now get free Lyft rides through the day before Thanksgiving - Wednesday, Nov. 24.

Meanwhile, in addition to the patrols, CPD pod cameras – which allow for live monitoring – are also going up in the area. And to ease some international students' worries, the university made clear there is no racial motive connected to the murder of 24-year-old recent recipient of a master's degree in statistics.

"I really wish it could be safer," one student said.

Students told Terry they trust the university and the CPD will get a handle on what is going on around them – but they will feel better when the killer is caught.

As investigators searched for the gunman, we learned they are also reviewing and using license plate readers in and around campus to get a better description of the vehicle in which the gunman escaped - and possibly the gunman himself. The gunman, again, remained at large Thursday night.

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