After what has taken place at Virginia Tech, the questions on students’ minds all center on what would happen if such an event took place at Sam Houston State University.
Captain Kevin H. Morris of the University Police Department answered a few questions regarding how such a situation would be handled if the shooting had taken place in Huntsville.
“We are trained to immediately go to where [the event] is happening and not worry about surrounding buildings,” he said. “Your initial response is to end the situation where it is happening. Then we would implement the emergency response plan, where the Chief of Police would recommend to the university about what to do, including whether to lock down the school or cancel classes.”
Walker County has its own system of relaying information to those involved that could be endangered if unaware of what was going on.
“If we had this situation, messages would be sent out using various methods to inform students, faculty and staff of what to do. Walker County has a system that we have access to called ‘Reverse 911,’ in which phone calls go out to certain locations to provide information as well,” Morris said.
For those concerned about copycats after this event, Morris acknowledged that though “there’s always that possibility,” the department is “not worried about it” happening at this time. He also said that there really would not be a way to predict if a person would be capable of committing a similar crime.
“There is no typical profile for someone like this,” he said. “It could happen to anyone. It could happen to you; it could happen to me. You never know who may be having a bad day, a bad month, or a bad year.”
In reaction to the event, the Student Government Association plans to get in direct contact with the student body at the Virginia university.
“On behalf of the Bearkat student body, we send our deepest condolences to the student body of Virginia Tech,” SGA President Christopher Whitaker said. “The Student Government Association will be passing a Condolence Bill to the Virginia Tech student government letting them know that our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
On a personal level, students are still in shock after the event, unable to absorb the idea of “something like that happening here.”
“I have a lot of empathy for them and the horrible, horrible thing they’re going through,” Whitaker said. “It’s sad that one guy caused all that pain and misery.”
One of the preventative measures acknowledged by Captain Morris included “resources to help students and faculty who may be going through something they feel is difficult in their lives.” The counseling center on campus can be reached at (936) 294-1720, and is available to anyone affected by this event. Facebook groups have also been established in order to relay individual condolences.