By Julia Contarelli
Police responded to a disturbance at 11:42 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, at Sledge Hall. The next morning, students were talking about the shooting.
“I saw people running inside, and I asked what was wrong? They told me people were shooting outside,” said Mackenzie King, Apache Chief and Student Senate Public Relations officer.
“It was just a word of mouth throughout the campus. I mean, like, everyone knew about it at the dorms. It was student to student,” said sophomore student, Anthony Green.
Campus Police on Tuesday Sept. 13, would not confirm that a shooting took place, and said the police report wouldn’t be available until Wednesday. All questions were directed to Kimberly Lessner, executive director of Marketing, Media and Communications.
“Nobody was arrested…nobody was injured,” said Lessner via phone at 5:33 p.m. on Tuesday.
However, students who live around Sledge reported worried friends calling to ask if they were okay.
“Why would somebody do something like that? You are putting people in danger,” said King. “Even if you are shooting into the air, the bullet’s got to come down, it is dangerous.”
The Campus Police Report of the Deadly Conduct case was only released on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
According to the TJC crime log, “Campus Police responded to Sledge regarding a disturbance, reported by hall staff, involving a TJC resident student and other unidentified male subjects. Investigation continues.”
The weapon involved in the deadly conduct incident on TJC’s campus was a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson.
Tyler Police Department Crime Scene officers and Campus Police were at the right side of Sledge Hall investigating a bullet hole in the air conditioning unit on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.
Although Tyler PD is investigating, Public Information Officer Don Martin said this is not their case. TJC campus police are in charge.
A TJC press release issued at 3:47 p.m. on Wednesday, said the following:
“TJC Campus Police are conducting an investigation regarding shots fired on campus Monday evening at 11:42 p.m. The incident involved unidentified male subjects coming to campus to confront a TJC student outside of a residence hall. TJC Campus Police responded immediately to the scene, secured the scene and also called Tyler Police to respond. The unidentified subjects fled the scene and TJC Campus Police made a determination that this was an incident isolated to a dispute initially involving a few individuals, male subjects and a female subject, and that the incident did not pose an immediate threat to students throughout the campus. There were no injuries. Safety is of paramount concern to TJC and the College has zero tolerance for any behavior which violates school policies and criminal behavior. While it is still an ongoing investigation, TJC has taken immediate action to suspend students involved in the incident. Following further investigation, TJC will pursue all available actions including enforcement of any violations of school rules and policies as well as full prosecution of any criminal behavior.”
As of press time, students and faculty nine days later have still not been notified of the deadly conduct case. And the students who were suspended have their identity protect due the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).