Archive for Tuesday, April 17, 2007

KU studies response to shooting

April 17, 2007


A mass shooting Monday at Virginia Tech caused Kansas University officials to take a closer look at their own security measures.

"We are going to look at the system we have in place and learn where we need to make improvements," said Todd Cohen, director of the Office of University Relations.

KU's Department of Public Safety referred questions to Cohen, who declined to comment specifically about how police would respond to a similar shooting incident for security reasons. Campus police train with the Lawrence Police Department and Douglas County Sheriff's Office on how to handle major incidents, he said.

"We would rely heavily on them to be part of any response," Cohen said.

All Lawrence police officers go through an intensive two-day training course that involves engaging armed role players, Lawrence Police Capt. David Cobb said. The course is taught by city and KU officers.

"Speed is the basis for the training in this type of situation," Cobb said. "The training prepares the officers to respond to the location with a tactical response where a suspect is actively firing a weapon at people."

Cobb noted that one of the problems Virginia officers faced was that the suspect chained the doors closed, limiting entry to those officers who arrived first on campus.

KU regularly conducts training exercises for a variety of emergencies, Cohen said. Emergency response plans are continually updated.

"It's the kind of thing that we are always doing," he said.

KU will be watching to see how Virginia Tech planned for and responded to the latest crisis, Cohen said.

"After Columbine, (public) schools changed," he said, referring to the April 20, 1999, mass shooting at a Colorado high school. "They reviewed procedures and learned what they needed to do, and I'm sure that will be the same situation here."

Virginia Tech had loudspeakers on its campus as part of a warning system, and KU is interested in knowing whether they were used and how well they worked, Cohen said. He declined to say specifically how KU would warn students, faculty and staff about a shooting incident somewhere on campus.

"There's different systems," he said. "There are a lot of electronic ways of reaching people. We have to have multiple layers of contacting people even if it is through e-mail, Web site, electronic bulletin board, instant messaging. That's something we are looking at."

Cohen said it is premature to say campus buildings might one day use metal detectors at entrances the same way many courthouses use them.

"There are so many things to look at," he said. "It's unbelievable how horrible this is."

The KU campus already has a good system of deterring nonextreme crime using different methods and systems that include surveillance cameras, Cohen said. Overall, campus crime has been declining in recent years, he said.


leadrain 10 years, 9 months ago

What I'd like to know ( and I KNOW someone else has ) is WHY did the University allow classes to continue 2-hors AFTER they learned that a shooting rampage occured on campus? I'd like to know that some loony was " poppin off " so I can unplug and zig-zag my way back home. You never know WHAT someone is capable of. After the 1st shot I'd be gone. I here on the news repeatedly " This tragedy could've happened anywhere " True- it CAN happen anywhere FALSE- You have to be inquisitive and wait to discover the source ( that was likely his plan, more meat ,you haul-A and don't look back.) TRUE-curiosity HAS killed a number of cats

mom_of_three 10 years, 9 months ago

The University and the police thought the first shooting was an isolated domestic incident, which killed two people. They had information that the shooter had left the campus and the state. They had no clue what was to come. From all I have heard, the school and the police did the best with the information they had.
We all wish it could have been avoided.

BDitty 10 years, 9 months ago

unpredictable behavior by a complete lunatic. police and administraion did all they could with the info they had. yet, morons like Geraldo continue to look to place blame on anyone but the shooter himself. This person was out to kill and would have done that no matter what the school asministration would have done.

leadrain 10 years, 9 months ago

MOM OF THREE I agee totally that this is indeed horrific, but they didn't (couldn't have ) known that the suspect left the state or even the campus. WHY? Because at the time they didn't even know who they were looking for. Therefore, EVERYONE should have been evacuated. It's not really all that complicated. Pull the fire alarm, everyone goes outside, someone with a bullhorn can then announce to all that someones killing folk and send them all home. I smell a HUGE lawsuit in the air. Authorities have allowed " assumption " to come back and bite their hind-quarters on several occasions. They SHOULD have " assumed " on the side of campus safety. Not that the threat had subsided. Let's pray for the Lost, and for forgiveness to the powers-that-be.

BDitty 10 years, 9 months ago

Pull the fire alarm and announce that someone is killing people? and start a stampeed of terrified student running widly not knowing if the shooter is outside among them. that's a brilliant idea, mass paranoia instead of trying to confine the situation and gather facts.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 9 months ago

Wrong, wrong, wrong, scenebooster. Virginia does not have to issue a permit to anyone who applies.

Check it out at:

But you never let reality get in the way of pitching a hissy fit, do you?

Flap Doodle 10 years, 9 months ago

You cannot get a concealed carry permit in Virginia without filling out an application and meeting the standards. That is not "The state gov't is required to issue a permit to anyone who applies." Game, set, match.

drake 10 years, 9 months ago

You had better move away from here quickly scenebooter as Virginia has pretty much the same gun laws as we do.

drake 10 years, 9 months ago

What if someone inside the hall would have been carrying? He chose this place because he knew it was defenseless and chained the doors so that armed officers could not get in.

drake 10 years, 9 months ago

Yes, guns are not the problem in this instance. He could have easily done this with a machette or a spear. I know this argument is wasted on you SB, but this wacko did this, not Glock.

drake 10 years, 9 months ago

You are completely irrational SB and, quite frankly, ignorant. You will hate guns for any reason. If it were legal for anyone inside that building to have a concealed weapon lives would have been saved. Period.

Devon Kissinger 10 years, 9 months ago

"Posted by scenebooster (anonymous) on April 17, 2007 at 11:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"What if someone inside the hall would have been carrying? "

Yeah, what if? Does he kill the shooter, or miss and hit yet another student? Does he get mistaken for the perp by cops and get shot?"

I'd rather have anything greater than a zero percent chance of survival. Zero percent is all those students and professors had. If just one of those people would have had an opportunity to defend themselves, that person COULD have made a huge difference in how this tragedy ended. I won't say "would have" since there is no way to know. I'd take the risk for a greater than zero percent chance of surviving.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 9 months ago

Julio Gonzales didn't need a gun to kill 87 people.

Vermont has no concealed carry permit system. If you can legally own a firearm in VT, you can carry it concealed. That would appear to be the most lax concealed carry system.

drake 10 years, 9 months ago

You don't need a license to own a gun in Missouri either.
Do you really own a gun or is that statement just to make your statements seem believable?

Your whole argument is null and void when you start calling names.

Godot 10 years, 9 months ago

I hope KU takes heed that the real problem was that a disturbed student wrote of violence and hate in his academic papers, a professor had enough concern about it to recommend he go for counselling, but that there was apparently no follow up to see if he actually sought counselling, or to see whether he was effectively controlling his anger.

drake 10 years, 9 months ago

To quote someone who is obviously enlightened about your state- Grandpa Simpson

Marge: "Grandpa, this flag only has 49 stars on it."

Grandpa: "I'll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I recognize Missourah!"

Leah Lomon 10 years, 9 months ago

I have no idea what to think of the whole mess, but I'm getting tired of everyone trying to point the finger somewhere. Doesn't everyone understand that there is NO motive for something like this? There's simply no explanation, no blame. Everyone goes on and on about gun control, and a rage filled society contributing to these mass shootings...I call BS. No one can explain why dozens of people had to die yesterday, and no amount of speculation will bring them back. I do wish, however, that the monster responsible would've just shot himself in the face in the first place. Senseless. Absolutely senseless and may he rot.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 9 months ago

In case you don't trust the Brady Bunch website, here is the actual MO law:

It appears you have to have a permit to acquire a concealable firearm in MO, but if you move to the state after you have possession, you don't have to get a permit to own it.

laughingatallofu 10 years, 9 months ago



It appears to me that people have opinions (rightly so), but then degrade into calling everyone who disagrees with them names. How old are you? Didn't your mama tell you not to call other people names, dimwit?


There seems to be a lot of armchair quarterbacking going on here. How comfy it is in Lawrence, Kansas today, as we sit near our TVs and watch everyone else in Blacksburg (sp?), Virginia grieve! Maybe someone can make a reality series out of all of these senseless shootings, whad'ya think? I'm sure that many Americans would buy the CD set.


It is true that ignorance is bliss. Maybe give the people who actually had to DEAL with the incident some time to do their job and deal with their emotions as well. But, of course you won't. Not having ever been a police officer, nor having ever had to deal with a crime scene in which human beings are DEAD, I have a hard time placing blame on the police, university, etc. before all of the facts are out.

Here we are, in our cozy confines, just typing away, blaming this person or that person for what we (who were not there and with very limited information) think should or should not have happened.


Guess what folks, dozens of people around the world are killed every day due to violence (take a look in Iraq, for example). Why are we not "grieving" (with counselors on-scene, etc) for them as well? Call it "Iraq fatigue", I guess. Hmmm. Isn't each life precious and worthy of grieving for? Why are there no 2 hour ceremonies (with Pres. Bush and Laura attending) on national TV DAILY for those who are harmed (or slightly worse yet---KILLED!) by violence?

My rant for the day. Have at me (just don't call me a dimwit---see above).

bearded_gnome 10 years, 9 months ago


this thread is: seriously diverged from the original topic; full of meaningless stance taking; and it all does nothing to really move the ball down the field.

exception: Sr. Godot posted well. someone should've followed up on the warning signs from Cho Seung Hui who was the shooter, not Glock. in some ways, Hui took advantage of VT being a gun free zone.

how come a damned chain stopped the forces of V-Tech's finest? seems a bolt cutter and maybe a burst/concussion grenade would've been a good idea. were the V-Tech officers restricted in their firearms policy? did they have to run everything by the president of V-Tech before they did anything?

Drake: SB is no more believable than "Rosie." wouldn't believe anything he's posted, and in the past have found his arguments empty ineffective and full of bluster. being from MO really does explain him better.

bearded_gnome 10 years, 9 months ago

when guns are illegal, than only criminals will have guns. it makes no sense to restrict law abiding citizens right to self-defense.

btw, Harley, well posted on the "passing the gun" scenario.

bearded_gnome 10 years, 9 months ago

and your name calling betrays your actual thoughtlessness and vacuousness. simply posting links don't mean a thing. if I posted links to the mad magazine site, could I verify my arguments...not much. you have mostly linked to a far-left biased site run by a group openly opposed to the right of self-defense. bye-bye.

mom_of_three 10 years, 9 months ago

Doesn't the conceal/carry law prohibit guns from college campuses, high schools etc??

So, someone is supposed to break the law and carry a gun on campus in case some lunatic happens to come on campus?? Chances are he will get arrested for illegally carrying the weapon before he has the opportunity to possibly defend himself. There is also no guarantee that anyone with a weapon could have disarmed the shooter before he killed more students.
He obtained it legally, and looked what happened.
There is no guarantee what could happen. This doesn't disprove or prove what conceal/carry could do in defense.

This was a tragic situation.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 9 months ago

In unreported news, tens of millions of American gun owners had a totally ordinary day & killed nobody. Thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, carried concealed weapons legally and peacefully. Good night, Chet.

Leah Lomon 10 years, 9 months ago

bearded_gnome: I didn't realize there was such a thing as meaningless stance taking at a place where the purpose is to share your opinions.

ModSquadGal 10 years, 9 months ago

The bottom line is (and some people won't want to hear it)... the ONLY people on that campus that had a gun were the police and the wacked out nut job who was on a rampage to kill as many people as possible. He owned the gun legally. Had he NOT owned the gun legally, he would have gotten one from someone on the street illegally. Nothing we currently have power over in this country could have prevented this from happening. Well, if we had psychic police, that might work, but that didn't even really fly in that Tom Cruise movie, so.....

Concealed carry laws may seem like a necessary evil, and perhaps they are. But the only thing the lack of a concealed carry law on the campus insured was that ONLY the gunman had a weapon. The police CANNOT be there fast enough. They CANNOT know the situation from the moment they arrive. They CANNOT just go in guns blazing and risk innocent lives. It would be nice if the gunman painted himself in neon paint or something so he was readily seen, but that almost never happens.

Everyone is sad, mad and wants answers. OF COURSE! But, blaming the police, or the university president, or the people who didn't stop this guy until it was too late is pointless. The only person to blame is this kid himself. The REAL tragedy is that he didn't just kill himself first and leave the rest of the world out of it.

Random violence is just a fact of life in today's society. If someone had been able to forsee this tragedy, then it wouldn't have been RANDOM. People did try to help this kid. They were concerned. Steps were taken, but there really is no sure way to know just HOW FAR someone will go with their mental problems.

And, I agree with the poster who speculated as to why Pres. Bush (and Laura) aren't at a 2-hour ceremony every time people get massacred in our country. Or, MORE TO THE POINT, every time our citizens get slaughtered in Iraq. But that's another post all together...

My heart goes out to the community in Virginia, and to all the friends and families of those who died. Senseless doesn't begin to explain it.

Richard Boyd 10 years, 9 months ago

I remembered another incident at a Virginia college, I remember at the time thinking, "well this won't get any play" (because the suspect only shot two and a firearm was used in apprehending him without the suspect being killed).

This incident happened at the Appalachian School of Law (ASL) is a fully-accredited private law school on a four building campus in Grundy, Virginia, a small town near the convergence of Virginia, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

"Police said Peter Odighizuwa, 42, stormed into Sutin's office at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., Wednesday and shot him once with a .380-caliber pistol. He then shot and killed another professor and a student and wounded three others before being restrained by students, according to police. Odighizuwa faces three counts of capital murder and related weapons charges."

The part they did not play up was that the student who restrained this shooter was an OFF DUTY police officer from North Carolina, Tracy Bridges, who had a firearm immediately accessible in his car.  I wonder if there were "no firearm" signs posted?

The account of the shooting speaks for itself:

Mr. BRIDGES: "I went back to the classroom and told the students to get out, that there was a shooter in the building. We herded them out thethe back stairwell. At that time, me [sic] and Ted Besen went down the back stairwell, and my vehicle was parked in a parking spot between the shooter and the back stairwell. We seen the shooter, started to approach him, stopped at my vehicle, and got out my handgun, and [he] started to approach Peter [shooter]. At that time, Peter throwed [sic] up his hands and throwed [sic] his weapon down. Ted [untrained student] was first person to have contact with Peter, and Peter hit him one time in the face. So there was a little bit of a struggle there. After that, Ted pushed him back, me, Ted and another student, Todd Ross, took Peter to the ground and subdued him until we had some handcuffs to put him in.

Also interesting that Katie Couric tried to put the best (anti-gun) spin on this as possible, indicating that it was the "police training" that made the difference.  In spite of the fact that officer Bridges caused the surrender of the suspect by the mere BRANDISHING of his service weapon!  Anyone with weapons training, especially orientation in the use of deadly force, as what is required for the concealed weapons permit, could have affected this arrest

COURIC: I should mention, Tracy, that you are a police officer, a trained police officer. You were one inin North Carolina. And another student, I understand, who was able to help, Michael Gross, he handed you a pair of handcuffs so you could handcuff the suspect. Must have been incredibly fortuitous that you all had police training and a police background that you were able toto act in such aa quick and appropriate way.

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