An unidentified gunman killed 32 Virginia Tech University students and himself Monday. 22 were left injured.
The shootings yesterday morning at Virginia Tech, one in a freshman dorm building and another in a classroom, amount to the deadliest shooting rampage in modern American history, according to federal law enforcement officials.
With worries running through campuses across the nation, Brad Wiesley, commander with the CU Police Department, assures CU students that they are safe.
“I think our officers are well trained to deal with a situation such as this. We are on the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and we would all be there in a matter of minutes,” Wiesley said.
Wiesley went on to note that the CU Police Department regularly works with the Boulder Police Department, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Department and all other departments from across Boulder County to help in emergency situations like those in Virginia.
CU Police Department officials regularly practice in realistic, scenario-based training where there is role play involving gunmen or assailants with other weaponry, such as knives.
“We train using tactics to make it as real as we possibly can so officers deal with the emotions and adrenaline rush and things that come into play when dealing with these instances,” Wiesley said. “We work on how to talk to people, negotiate and set up perimeters on a pretty regular basis.”
It is advised that should a student hear any gunshots from their dorm room or what may resemble a gun shot, to stay locked inside the room and get on the floor unless there is a safe and close way of escape.
Though there is no uniform action proven to work more successfully over another when a dangerous person takes charge, one should “absolutely call 911 if at all possible,” Wiesley said. “If they are in a circumstance to safely do so, they should call 911. There is no universal safety tip; each situation is different and you have to make decisions based upon what you know at the time to make a good decision.”
Though members of the CUPD will respond quickly to protect innocent bystanders and put a stop to whatever is happening, if you are in direct contact with a person who is causing harm, you have to evaluate what they’re asking of you and how they are asking it, Wiesley said.
“Compliance will often help them not hurt you, but not always.it’s important to look at the dynamics going on to make these decisions,” he said.
The CUPD said that if anyone on campus sees someone they have questions or issues about to call them. CUPD would, “much rather check somebody out rather than miss an opportunity to catch something early,” Wiesley said.
If a student is feeling distressed or unsafe with events occurring at the Virginia Tech campus today, CUPD encourages students to take advantage of the counseling services available at CU which can be found at CU’s Counseling and Psychological Services