Campus Lockdown   Leave a comment

Yesterday a family member was involved in the campus lockdown at UCLA because of an active shooter on campus. Three harrowing hours later the lockdown was lifted and the campus declared safe. Two people died in an apparent murder/suicide (authorities found a gun and note) between a professor and graduate student in the Engineering IV building. Of course at 10AM when the lockdown happened, no one knew what was going on. I shook with fear for my family member who was in class. We texted one another several times to keep spirits up on both our sides. My hands shook each time I asked, “Are you okay? Safe?” And when a few minutes went by with no answer, I panicked.

I ended up having to text family and friends to let them know what was going on. Everyone asked the same questions, what was going on? East coast friends heard about it on the news. They wanted to know the same things: Is everyone safe? What happened?

The helpless feeling continued until at 12:30PM the lockdown was lifted and the All-Clear was sounded. “Headed home” was a text I’d been waiting for and we breathed a sigh of relief. When the family member came in the door I burst into happy tears and hugged the stuffing out of them. Other family members left work early to come home. I let my family member talk about the ordeal, how scared the classmates were, the not knowing if the shooter was nearby. All of this happened on the last day of class for the spring quarter. Finals and classes were cancelled for the remainder of the day.

Even later that night, my family member couldn’t focus and was still feeling the effects of what happened that morning.

I am saddened by the death of the professor and student and how their families weren’t able to hug their loved ones or feel the relief I felt when seeing my family member walk through the door.

This could’ve been so much worse and I’m sure everyone expected it to be. I’m glad it wasn’t.

Today, the campus is back to its regular routine but the students, faculty and staff can’t go back to life like it was on campus before yesterday happened. The safety of the campus has been jeopardized and it will take time to feel safe again. I hope that everyone involved will read out to professionals if they need to talk about what happened. Talking does help.

I am grateful to the UCLA campus police, the LA police and First-Responders who did their jobs with efficiency. I am thankful there weren’t more people injured or shot.

I just wish this scenario wasn’t repeated ever again but I know it’s likely to be and that makes me sad.

 

Kathleen

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Posted June 2, 2016 by kathleea in Uncategorized

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