Howard University officials are addressing concerns for campus safety after a violent brawl outside two residence halls broke out early Monday morning.

University officials say the incident involved a group of about 50 young people, described as a “fight club” who attacked students, leaving one stabbed and several others hurt

One victim recalled the ruthless attack saying, “I was prepared to die.” “When I was on the ground getting stomped out, I just stopped feeling the pain at one point,” he said.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Victims described the attackers as “a bunch of D.C. locals.”

One victim said, “It was like maybe 5, 10, 20.” He recalled the attackers instigating a fight saying, “And one lunges at me, so I square up.”

“They just started kicking us, punching us,” another victim said. “We were getting jumped.”

 Two students were able to escape, but some of their friends got left behind, and one was stabbed and had to be transported to the hospital for further treatment.

“He got stabbed in the back and he got just beat on by like 30 people, him by himself, and security looked at him on the ground, watched his body go limp, and just walked away. Didn’t call anybody; didn’t do anything,” a victim said.

According to Fox 5 DC, the Metropolitan Police Department reported the attackers stole a pair of Air Jordans, an iPhone, and some keys from the students.

The campus police chief says at least one juvenile suspect was arrested with a handgun, NBC Washington reported.

Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick, who returned to campus early from a university-related trip, released a letter addressing the incident. “Maintaining the safety and well-being of Howard University students is our first priority,” he said. “We are investigating not only this incident but also our response to it. We apologize to our students who expressed that our public safety response did not meet their expectations of support and assistance.” 

On Tuesday, the university held a town hall to address safety concerns and to apologize for the initial response to the incidents.

Tashni-Ann Dubroy, an executive vice president and chief operating officer at Howard said the group of attackers has been on the university’s radar.

“We’ve been tracking these juveniles, not only on our campus but also throughout the District as well, over the summertime,” Dubroy said “They’re part of a fight club. They go to restaurants to instigate fights. And the reason why it escalated so quickly and became violent is because that’s part of their strategy.”

Howard University Police Chief Marcus Lyles said that he has launched an internal and external investigation into the incident. So far, this has resulted in the suspension of a lieutenant of the university police and the removal of a third-party security contractor.

The university said it plans to install more than 1,000 cameras. The university also plans to implement safety paths so students know which routes to take to make sure a security officer is within 100 feet.

“Over the last eight months, we’ve installed over 1,000 cameras, both internal and external. And we’ve also installed smart card readers for access control purposes. That’s just Phase One,” Lyles said. “These are multimillion dollar projects and we’ve invested heavily and we will continue to Phase Two … in which we will be installing another 1,000 cameras across the university with another 500 smart card readers.”

Dubroy said that the university will continue with their freshman welcome week with ramped-up security. “We want the students to have a good time and we’re going to put all of the barriers that we can around these safe spaces,” she said.