Campus Quiets Down After Shooting

The Forty Acres sounded a preliminary all-clear over the loudspeaker after gunshots shattered a tranquil September morning.

A gunman took an AK-47 to the Perry-Castañeda Library just after 8 a.m., opening fire along the way and then shooting and killing himself inside, police said.

No one else was injured by that shooter, police said. But reports of a possible second gunman frightened the campus for hours afterward.

Some reports had that search centered on Calhoun Hall, which is in the “Six-Pack” of venerable classroom buildings roughly between PCL and the Tower. A UTPD desk sergeant, however, could not confirm the area of the search. Much, if not all, of the campus was being swept by SWAT teams during the rest of the morning.

Helicopters swirled overhead but have mostly died down now; campus sirens have been sounded countless times, but have not been heard for at least 30 minutes. The campus was open and then closed. It remains on lockdown, and all classes are cancelled today.

In some chilling reports on what happened earlier, witnesses said they came close to a man waving a gun outside the library. 

Police and University officials got the word out quickly today, with text alerts among the first notifications that students, faculty, and staff received.

There have been scares in the past two years — people police said expressed the desire and had the means to inflict violence on campus — but they have developed a complex emergency system to respond to threats on a campus of nearly 50,000 students and thousands more employees.

Meanwhile, a talk on the subject of safety and guns scheduled at the law school tonight has been cancelled. The title of John Lott’s planned lecture, sponsored by the University of Texas School of Law Federalist Society, was “More Guns, Less Crime.”

Photo: A deceptively peaceful Forty Acres as seen from the stadium Tuesday morning. 21st Street was barricaded, and SWAT teams swarmed near PCL and the Six Pack.



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