Three killed, including suspect, in shooting at SJSU

May 11, 2011 7:06:23 PM PDT
Police said the shooting at a San Jose State University parking garage Tuesday night was a double-murder suicide. Three people, including the shooter, are dead.

It happened in the 10th Street parking garage on campus at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Campus police said there is no motive for certain yet and they are deflecting questions about a possible love triangle. Within minutes of arriving at the shooting scene, police decided that a man had shot two others before shooting himself.

Missy Garvin teaches Child Development at SJSU. She was not allowed to enter the garage to get her car immediately following the shootings.

"I teach in the evening, so I'm coming back to my car at night when it is dark and the idea that there were people killed here is frightening. It is very sad. It is a tragic situation," said Garvin.

The university is giving out very little information. They are not releasing the identity of the victims because they are having trouble contacting one of the families. The motive is still unclear. Officials will say the victims are somehow linked to San Jose State, but we don't know if they are students or faculty.

"There were several quick 'pop, pop, pop' and a little more after that," said SJSU student Erin Sterner.

Students told ABC7, they were getting more information through Facebook and Twitter.

"Facebook started saying 'shooting?' Everybody was talking about the shooting on Facebook," said Sterner.

Some of the information was factual. A lot dealt with rumors which fueled both confusion and alarm.

Students are criticizing the campus emergency notification system, which was installed following the 2007 shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University that killed 33 people.

"It just lets us know information that they want us to know, but they actually didn't say in the messages what went on here," said SJSU student Ashlie Bernal. "It would be nice for them to let us know everything."

"I heard a lot of people didn't get texts. I'm not part of the alert system, but I hear that nobody got an alert about what happened," said SJSU student Christine Duong.

"Within about 30 minutes of the incident we did send a message out via our internal P.A. system which links to all our offices and classrooms to reiterate that our people were safe," said SJSU spokesperson Pat Lopes-Harris. "Please keep in mind that the alert system is set up in order to send out instruction, especially say shelter-in-place. If we don't have an immediate need to send instructions then we are going to turn our attention to other priorities, in this case, again, it was life-saving measures for the three involved."

Several hours later, the university sent another message to students via text and email saying the campus was safe. Lopes-Harris says there was no need to dispense more information.

"Police were able to immediately ascertain that this incident involved three individuals. No more than these three individuals and campus was not in danger," said Lopes-Harris.

The university says these are the first shooting deaths on campus in its 150-year history.

"Can we move more quickly? Can we provide more information? We'll certainly look into that," said Lopes-Harris.

The shooting is unprecedented. The university stressed that this is usually a very safe campus. There will be another briefing on Thursday, at which time hopefully the university will release names and the motive.


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