UT-Austin taking steps to improve safety after killing of studen - KPTV - FOX 12

UT-Austin taking steps to improve safety after killing of student from Portland

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Haruka Weiser (Family photo/KPTV) Haruka Weiser (Family photo/KPTV)
Meechaiel Criner, jail booking photo Meechaiel Criner, jail booking photo
Surveillance image of murder suspect at University of Texas at Austin. (Austin Police Department) Surveillance image of murder suspect at University of Texas at Austin. (Austin Police Department)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

University of Texas at Austin administrators are reviewing a comprehensive security assessment after the killing of a student from Portland.

The body of 18-year-old Haruka Weiser was discovered behind an alumni center building on campus in April.

Weiser attended the Arts and Communications Magnet Academy in Beaverton for six years and was at UT-Austin on a full dance scholarship.

Meecchaiel Criner is charged with murder for Weiser's death. He was 17 years old and homeless at the time of his arrest.

Criner was caught on a surveillance camera riding a bicycle past Weiser on campus the night she was killed, after he had repeatedly tried to open the doors of a van parked in the area.

Investigators said he was later found to be in possession of some of Weiser's belongings and had attempted to burn others in an abandoned building.

UT-Austin President Gregory L. Fenves requested an audit by the Texas Department of Safety. Recommendations include additional public safety staffing, upgrading of video surveillance systems, better lighting, clearing of excessive vegetation and policies to reduce the presence of transients on campus, as well as limiting access to campus buildings at night by people who are not members of the college community.

The most pressing recommendations will be implemented immediately and plans will be coordinated to implement the others across campus.

University leaders said steps have already been taken to improve security while the assessment was being conducted.

Fenves said Weiser's death is the first murder on campus in nearly 50 years.

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