RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina State University Police plan to increase patrols after shots were fired at a group of students during an attempted robbery.

Four people were parked in the Avent Ferry Parking lot Sunday around 3:22 a.m. when a man tried to steal their car, according to NCSU police. It’s unclear if all of them were students.

“The subject approached the vehicle and brandished a handgun and told them to get out of the vehicle,” said NCSU Police Chief Daniel House. “They of course didn’t and put it in drive and went to drive away. That’s when the suspect fired four shots.”

Three of the four shots hit the vehicle, but no one was injured. The group drove off and eventually flagged down a Raleigh police officer. The suspect ran away on foot.

“I don’t know where they found him at but they flagged him down and told him what happened and where it happened and then we were communicated to by Raleigh that there was an attempted armed robbery that had happened,” said House.

Sophomore Amber Silver lives in the Avent Ferry dorms and says robberies on or near campus are becoming the norm. NCSU sent safety alerts to students on Nov. 4 that someone robbed the Papa John’s and Dollar Tree off Avent Ferry Road across from campus.

“Sadly it is,” said Silver. “They’ve been happening the past few weeks and every student needs to be cautious.”

House acknowledged robberies on or around campus are common but said Sunday’s attempted robbery is different.

“This one is unique because this is the first time I recall someone actually shooting at somebody in many, many years,” he said. “So from that perspective it’s maybe more violent.”

House tells CBS17 other robberies in the area don’t appear to be connected but campus police are working with RPD to figure that out. In the meantime, students can expect to see more patrols.

“Typically we have six, and then a supervisor,” House said of how many officers are patrolling on any given day or night. “They’re actually assigned to different areas of campus, so we have different zones, patrolling zones, that they’re primarily expected to be in unless for whatever reason they’re called out. So that’s our strategy, put more people in that zone especially until we develop a suspect.”