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Likins calls campus safe

JILL MARICICH/Arizona Daily Wildcat
By James Kelley
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday October 29, 2002

Though a student brought a gun into a campus building, shot three professors in a College of Nursing classroom and later took his own life, President Pete Likins spoke to reassure members of the UA community that the campus is safe in a speech yesterday afternoon.

"I don't now believe there's any reason to imply a deficiency in security here or anywhere else," Likins said.

The UA "will revaluate" security and it "is always evaluating," security, though it is not possible to assure every person on campus does not have a gun said, UAPD Cmdr. Brian Seastone.

Today's incident has little do with security at UA, Likins said.

"We're all vulnerable if someone takes it upon themselves to do evil things," Likins said.

The whole Arizona Health Sciences complex should be open today, except the College of Nursing building where the shooting took place, Seastone said.

There will be no changes in security today for the part of campus south of East Speedway Boulevard, Seastone said.

Seastone did not rule out the possibility of metal detectors in buildings, though there are no immediate plans for detectors, he said.

In 2001, there were 10 reports of weapons on campus, in 2000 eight, in 1999 eight as well and in 1998 there were 13.

The last homicide on campus was in 1998.

Likins encouraged the campus to grieve but also realize that its fear is the realization of its own mortality.

"It's important to distinguish between grief and fear. The grief is real," Likins said. "The fear is the fear that comes to us all when we realize our mortality."

Since the gunman is dead, Likins believes the immediate threat is gone.

"I am personally comfortable in the belief that there is no longer any risk," Likins said.

President's Statement: Shooting at UA College of Nursing By Pete Likins
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday October 29, 2002

This morning the University of Arizona lost four members of the campus community. We don't have many details to release. What we do know is that someone entered the College of Nursing shortly after the building opened this morning and left three people dead of gun shot wounds. A fourth person appears to have died as the result of a self-inflicted wound.

This is a national story but it's our story locally. It is personal because it is our family. It's real; it is not abstract. The entire campus community is traumatized. We grieve for those whom we have lost in this tragedy and for their loved ones. Some people have witnessed murders. For them and for the family and friends of the victims the days ahead will be unspeakably difficult. Our prayers are with them.

It is important to distinguish between grief and fear. Grief is something we all expect to experience after a trauma like this one. There is no rational basis for fear of further casualties. This was murder; it was not terrorism. The shooter is no longer a threat. Murder always creates fear because it makes us all aware of our own mortality, not that we are afraid of this particular assailant but that we feel vulnerable. This particular crisis has been contained.

However, the repercussions of the crisis are just beginning. This is a time when our natural instinct may be to withdraw and to try to work things out on our own. Counselors are available today at the Swede Johnson (Alumni) Building at 1111 North Cherry Avenue (Speedway and Cherry), or at the Information Desk in the Student Union Memorial Center. Talk to one another. It is important for people to talk to one another about the things that are going on in their lives. Open up and talk; don't isolate yourself, and we will help each other get through this together. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.


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