Local University Reaction To VA Tech Shooting - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/16/2007-Blacksburg

Local University Reaction To VA Tech Shooting

Sirens, swat teams, and the sound of gunfire disrupted the calm of the Virginia Tech campus Monday morning.

 "We kind of ducked behind some cars. The first shots were heard were kind of muffled the next shots were much louder," said Brandon Renick a Virginia Tech Student.

When it ended, more than 30 people dead including the gunman.

Charles Steger, President of Virginina Tech said,"I cannot begin to convey my own personal sense of loss over this senseless and incomprehensible and heinous act."

"This is an emergency. There's a shooter on campus"

Which makes many East Texans wonder, is any college campus safe?

"Its really kinda creepy because college campuses aren't controlled at all. Anybody can just walk in and do whatever. It just makes you think," said Derek Nail, UT Tyler Sophomore. 

"It's kinda hard to regulate when people are driving in and leaving. They don't live on campus, they do live on campus. How do you regulate that all? You would have to have metal detectors at every entrance and that would just get a hassle," said Monica Lamb, UT Tyler Junior.

"The nature of college campus if not the world is an open environment its very difficult to put a fence around 200, 300, 400 acres of land. And to try and have one or two controlled access points so that things like this may or may not happen," said Howard Patterson, Assistant Vice President of UT Tyler Student Affairs.

Meantime, he says the college is as prepared as they can be.

"We try to be very proactive here at UT Tyler as far as the safety and security of students faculty and staff. I don't know if you can be totally prepared for an event like this.  But at least you can make people aware that if something doesn't look right. Call security call 911 and lets investigate it real quickly and hopefully 99 times out of a 100 nothing will happen," said Patterson.

But as tearful students in Virginia know, one time was all it took.

"There is no way for me to tell va tech what to do i just. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them in our college community," said Patterson.

Danielle Capper, reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

 

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