Yesterday, it was surreal to see pictures of The University of Texas campus with full SWAT teams, armored personnel carriers and, probably, the most law enforcement officials gathered in one place in response to a crime within Austin in a very long time, if ever.
It was even more surreal to see much of the activity near the University Catholic Center, where I spent much of my time for the last eight years. The gunman, apparently, shot off some rounds along the sidewalk outside.
It strikes me that the gunman, a 19-year old sophomore student, either chickened out or never intended to do serious harm to other people. He passed far too many people between Whitis & 21st Street and the PCL, not to mention those inside of the PCL itself. The campus would have enough people that those shots he did take could have easily hit folks if he tried a little.
My heart goes out to his family who apparently didn’t see this coming. It has to be terrible to lose a son, much less learn that he caused so much trouble. Thankfully, they aren’t dealing with the additional emotions of their son injuring or killing others.
When I was a student at UT, it was common to say “you can’t spell stupid without ‘UTPD'”. I was never a huge fan of the saying, but I think it is fair to say that UTPD and APD did a great job in communicating the situation to the general public, investigating and eliminating the theory of a second suspect and for their initial response time, which led the individual to the PCL instead of letting him roam campus.