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Purdue Student Discusses Fatal Campus Shooting

Police have new information on the fatal school shooting at Purdue University. Tuesday night, ABC NewsChannel 20 reported on a disgruntled student killing a teachers assistant, before surrendering to police. Now we have more information on Purdues response to the shooting, and how local colleges would handle the same situation.

Reports show Purdue campus police responded to the shooting within two minutes. Campus wide text messages, emails and sirens were activated to alert students. Many were in class when they received the message.

Even though university officials say campus and local police in West Lafayette, Indiana trained for an active shooter situation, students say they couldnt ever really prepared for the real thing.

"We didn't know what was going on," a Purdue student who did not want to use her name said.

The student was in class when other students started spreading the message through the classroom that there was a shooting on campus.

"At 12:45 p.m. the text said, 'shooting reported on campus. Building: electrical engineering. Avoid area. Shelter in place. Check Purdue E-D-U for updates,'" she said.

The student says once the message spread, the instructor was unsure what to do next, and didn't have a key to lock the classroom door.

University of Illinois-Springfield officials say they have multiple layers of strategy in place to handle a similar situation.

"The strategy would be to get there as quick as possible," UIS Crime Prevention Officer David Yemm said.

In addition to police action, the UIS campus is notified in as many ways as possible. Texts and emails go out, every classroom phone will start playing the message, a scroll will pop up on campus TVs, and loudspeakers even play the message outdoors. That message will include instructions for students and teachers.

"Just remain in a safe building where you are, maybe lock the classroom if that's possible and don't come out until you're told all is clear," Yemm said.

Campus police know the drill for an active shooter situation. Security staff have done emergency response exercises on campus. Officials tell us they just held a strategy meeting on security this summer, but students themselves should make sure they know their campus's plan.

"You always think about it like it could happen, but you never prepare enough for it actually to occur," the Purdue student said.

The Purdue shooting suspect was picked up almost immediately after the shooting by police. In this particular campus shooting, police believe the victim was the shooter's only target, and there was no ongoing threat to the university.

The single victim in the Purdue University shooting was identified as Andrew Boldt, a 21-year-old senior and teaching assistant. The suspect, 23-year-old Cody Cousins, is being held on murder charges.


 
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