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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Momentary Tension in the Workplace

Working on a university campus has its advantages. My office environment is very laid back, staff meetings are rarely, if ever formal and everyone is in the business of helping everyone else, so there are lots of friendly people around all the time. I even like eating in the cafeteria from time to time.

However, yesterday had its immediate drawback to working on campus when I got this email.

Subject: [staff-l] SUSPECT

We have received a call 15 minutes ago that there is a man on the campus possibly with a gun. The description of this person is : Hispanic male 5’8” w tank top shirt blue jean shorts black hair and brown eyes. If you have seen/or see someone fitting this description please call UCCS police with the location.
Thanks UCCS police

With immediate memories of the Virginia Tech incident just over a month ago my mind began racing with what to do next. Fight or flight was the choice.

About 10 minutes later, which seemed like a day and a half later, I got this email.

Subject: [staff-l] earlier e-mail

The suspect is in custody, UCCS police with CSPD have the person in custody.
UCCS police

As it turns out, it was only a pellet gun, but the guy got arrested anyway. Regardless, I am glad that our campus police carry guns, unlike those at Virginia Tech, and am glad they were able to act and react so quickly and effectively.

Local news covered the story here.

I have to say, the moment was somewhat surreal and while I wasn't ever afraid, it did leave me thinking about what possible outcomes might have happened.

Maybe I'll move my offices to the post office. They haven't had a shooting in several years.