Breaking news: ‘Two dead,’ ‘NO active shooter’

Little is known yet about what happened, or is happening, at the Arnold School of Public Health today.

But here’s a live feed from WIS if you want to follow it.

Beyond that, watch my Twitter feed in the rail at right. I’ll try to reTweet responsibly…

24 thoughts on “Breaking news: ‘Two dead,’ ‘NO active shooter’

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    A friend’s husband was a prof at Public Health until this year. He reports that it was a couple they knew.

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        Correction: a fellow professor whom the husband knew (friend met once), and gave lab space to when friend’s husband left; spouse not known to friend.

            1. Kathryn Fenner

              I don’t know. The friend’s husband is Greg Hand, and he gave his research lab to the colleague when Greg left. Greg does research into things like weight loss/food intake/ exercise, so I doubt it was speech pathology, but I don’t know.

  2. scout

    K, thanks, That sounds like Exercise Science, maybe.

    I just googled it – these are the departments in public health…

    Communication Sciences and Disorders
    Environmental Health Sciences
    Epidemiology and Biostatistics
    Exercise Science
    Physical Activity and Public Health
    Physical Therapy
    Health Services Policy and Management
    Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
    Public Health Programs (Office of Academic Affairs)

  3. Brad Warthen

    Statement from President Pastides:

    Today, the USC family experienced a great tragedy. Sadly, a shooting in one of our buildings has left two dead in what appears to be a murder-suicide. The thoughts and prayers of our entire community are with the families of the deceased tonight.

    The University of South Carolina Police Department responded to the shots immediately and, within moments, our community was alerted. I want to thank USCPD for their professionalism and quick response. The building was quickly secured and we were able to give an all clear for the campus.

    Thank you also to our students, faculty and staff for their cooperation and fast action. We know the grieving period will be long and our counseling center is available to anyone who may need assistance.

    Thank you to our community and law enforcement partners in the ongoing investigation. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is the lead investigative agency along with the Richland County coroner.

    Indeed this is a tragic day in our history. Patricia and I, along with the Board of Trustees, offer our condolences to the families and friends of the deceased.

  4. susanincola

    The professor who was killed’s name is all over twitter and such, but I guess they won’t release it officially until the coroner releases the name. Very sad.

  5. Rose

    I had a moment of disbelief when the first alert text came through, but our staff locked down our area quickly. I think the police response was swift and well planned. However, several of our staff members who were signed up for the Carolina Alert system never received the alert texts and alert emails were significantly delayed – two people didn’t receive the initial email until half an hour after it was sent. So there are some technology issues there, and it demonstrated to us that we can’t rely only on the alert system to make sure all of our area’s employees get the warning.

    USC offers active shooter response workshops, but they aren’t mandatory. I think all faculty and staff should be required to at least watch an instructional video. Being the wife of a police officer, I’ve seen them and discussed with my husband what my response should be, and where the best hiding places are in my area.

    If you want to watch an active shooter response video, this one by the LASD gets high marks. It is GRAPHIC:

  6. Phillip

    The coroner indicated that the professor and the shooter “had a history together.” The State and other media outlets have made much of the fact that this was the first multiple-death-by-gunshot on campus since 1979. But, if this was a relationship gone awry, it would be the second murder-suicide involving a member of the USC community within 90 days—not on campus, true, but in what is essentially a campus residence, the Copper Beech apartments on Assembly. And then there was the murder of a USC professor 3 or so years ago, though in that case the murderer did not commit suicide but was just recently sentenced to life in prison.

    1. Doug Ross

      Does the location of the murders really matter? That they happened on or near campus is just coincidental and really isn’t related to USC itself. Neither was a shooter going on a rampage on campus.

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        The location of the murders matters to those in that location, or whose friends and family are there. I am still shaken by it all, as are many others. I imagine the residents of Copper Beech and the Shandon neighborhood where the professor was killed also were shaken.

        Also, for about an hour, it was not confirmed that it was NOT an active shooter incident. That was, for the more neurotic among us [me], traumatic. During that time, I had texted and called someone coming from the music school [ahem] who did not respond. I was extremely worried.

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          Maybe this is the downside of the instant news alerts. I was living on campus when the October 1979 shootings took place, and read the Gamecock regularly, but I do not recall even hearing about them. It certainly did not make much of an impression if I have completely forgotten it.

        2. Doug Ross

          But it wasn’t a campus shooting. . In fact, the whole alert system on campus was excessive in hindsight. There was no shooter on campus. There was no threat to students. It was a domestic murder suicide that happened to occur in a campus building. Going into full blown alert mode was a mistake.

          1. Kathryn Fenner

            There was a shooter on campus, and two people were shot. ON CAMPUS. Authorities did not know the full extent of the situation when they sounded the alert. Better safe than sorry, says one who had plenty of friends and family who would have been in harm’s way of a roving shooter. Plenty of bystanders get shot in domestic situations.
            They could have lifted the alert a lot sooner, it seems to me from all I have heard.

            1. Mark Stewart

              Yes, but putting Hand Middle School and other Richland One schools was gratuitous. CYA at its best; at the expense of adding a bit of psychological scaring to many young students. That was unnecessary. The idea is to protect kids, not harm them with these Cold War duck and covers.

              Teach protective procedures; but be very judicious In their application. It does matter, far more than CYA.

          2. Norm Ivey

            I have two colleagues who had children in the building at the time of the shooting. Both were understandably distraught when the first alerts came out. Both also heard from their children fairly quickly. It seems that at least some people near the situation had a feel for what was happening.

            I’ve experienced a number of lockdown situations as a school employee. It’s never excessive when you are dealing with an uncertain situation. When the shots were first fired, there’s no way of being certain that innocents were not in danger.

            Hindsight is 20/20. This is one of those situations where I prefer the over-reaction by authorities.

            1. Norm Ivey

              I don’t know the routine at USC, but public schools are required to do periodic lockdown drills. Shutting down schools in District One had little psychological impact on the students. They’ve practiced this.

              For this type of event the likely procedure was that classroom doors were locked from the inside and classes continued. Kids probably spent some extra time in their classes. It’s not just CYA; it’s a reasonable defensive measure.

  7. Phillip

    I’m kind of in-between Kathryn and Doug’s view on this. Certainly all universities are now operating with an abundance of caution in the wake of the criticism Virginia Tech officials received for how they handled the massacre there, so I find it hard to criticize USC officials for their extreme caution. Still, surely the police first to arrive did not need to be geniuses to ascertain within mere minutes that there was almost certainly no shooter on the loose (no report of gunshots in multiple locations, no reports of any armed individual roaming hallways, no reports of gunshots in fact after whatever brief burst there would have been initially). That the entire university, including components located miles away from the scene, stayed on lockdown for well over TWO hours after the initial incident, seemed a bit much. In spite of the publicity of the school shootings in Virginia Tech and elsewhere, the fact remains that most murders by gunfire are just that—single murders by gunfire.

    The university should group its campus by geographical section and, if a lockdown is warranted, should implement it area by area. There is no reason why buildings located near Five Points should be on lockdown when an incident occurs west of Assembly, or vice versa. That just exacerbates panic, does not reduce it.

    In any case, half the School of Music faculty next door to Public Health did not know what was going on for 2 or more hours, as many of them teach one-on-one in their studios and do not look at their cellphones or email for hours at a time when doing so. The admonition to stay in my locked classroom would have done me no good (but I wasn’t at the office anyway at the moment).

  8. Mark Stewart

    Norm, I hear you. But as a parent I can tell you that outside of school these responses do come at a cost to children.

    You don’t have to agree it’s simple CYA, but it isn’t fair to not acknowledge these do impact kids’ outlooks – just as the nuclear-fear hide under the desks did.

    Tainting every life a little always matters.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *