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Gun violence on campus: What do you do?

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She was shocked when he came back into the room with a gun.

He loaded it and pointed it at her face. What scared her the most, she told police, was that she wasn’t sure “if he was stupid enough to shoot someone.”

Details of the alleged incident at Stouffer Place Apartments on the University of Kansas campus are included in an affidavit supporting criminal charges against Kansas football linebacker Kenny Bastida, now suspended from the team.

Police arrested Bastida on May 15. He has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon. 

The case is the most recent high-profile incident involving gun violence on campus. It comes at a time of national debate over gun laws and only months before recent mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas

In addition to the Bastida case, Lawrence and the University have hardly been immune to impacts of gun violence and the national debate over gun safety. Three people were killed in a shooting on Massachusetts Street in October 2017. Also, a controversial concealed carry policy allowing guns on campus took effect earlier that year, prompting protests from studentsstaff and faculty

At the most basic level, students say they worry what to do if an active shooter incident happens on campus.

“Especially in auditoriums in Budig, it’s hard with so many people to move around quickly," said Mandy Snodgrass, a senior from Lawrence, in reference to the small number of exits in lecture halls. 

‘Run. Hide. Fight.’

The text came at about 11:58 p.m. on Dec. 3, 2018 to students at the University’s Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

“KUMC & Hospital Alert: Active Shooter on campus,” the text said. “Run Hide Fight [sic]. Follow instructions from authorities. Stay away from KU front entrance on Cambridge Street.” 

Not many students were near the school at the late hour when the incident happened. But one man fatally shot another outside the entrance of the University of Kansas Hospital before turning the gun on himself. The incident stemmed from a domestic disagreement, the Kansan reported

Then-Student Body President Noah Ries and Student Body Vice President Charles Jetty put out a statement shortly after. 

“It is chilling to see firsthand that such acts of senseless violence can occur so close to home,” it said. “This event is understandably unsettling for the Jayhawk community, and we share your feelings of sorrow and fear.” 

Students are automatically signed up for campus-safety text message alerts. Faculty and staff can sign up to receive notifications of potential danger. 

In the case of an active threat on campus, KU Public Safety advises the following in a set of online guidelines

  1. Be aware of the situation and what’s around you. 

  2. Evacuate the area if you know it’s safe to do so. Seek shelter in a nearby building if the threat is outside of the building. 

  3. Seek cover and barricade yourself, with others if possible. Remain quiet and turn off the lights to make the area appear unoccupied. 

  4. Notify authorities by calling 911 and giving as much information as possible, if it is safe to do so. 

  5. Let emergency responders approach you, and keep your hands visible to them. 

  6. Remain undercover until the threat has passed or you have been informed you can leave by law enforcement. 

  7. Activate the University’s text alerts to stay aware. 

University spokesperson Erinn Barcomb-Peterson said the University has multiple channels to warn students about potential threats. 

Beyond the text alerts, she said the University uses alerts.ku.edu for information updates. Messages are also shared on the University’s Twitter page. 

KU PSO will broadcast through fire alarms in campus buildings if there’s a threat on campus. If addition, the University also can send a message to all campus phones. All alerts will also automatically come to KU email addresses, and local news media are informed. 

Students can keep their contact information up-to-date through Enroll & Pay. 

Campus carry violations

Since the concealed carry policy was implemented July 1, 2017, the University has had no records of any weapons violation, public records custodian Jen Arbuthnot said. But Student Conduct & Community Standards reported one unspecified weapons violation in fall 2018, according to its violations summary.

Only students over the age of 21 can carry a concealed weapon on campus in areas without "adequate security" and in unrestricted areas, according to the campus carry policy. Places with adequate security that ban concealed carry have to be approved by the attorney general, according to the policy. 

About 59% of students are under the age of 21, and not permitted to have a concealed weapon, according to the University's website on concealed carry.

People who see violations of campus carry are advised to call 911 if it’s an emergency, or the KU Public Safety Office at 785-864-5900 for non-emergencies. 

Under the campus policy, Bastida wasn’t supposed to have a weapon. He was 19 when the incident is alleged to have occurred. 

But when campus police searched his Stouffer Place apartment, they found two clear plastic bags of shotgun shells, and a shotgun, according to the affidavit. 

Police also found one shotgun shell in a backpack in one of the bedrooms where the argument allegedly happened and another underneath Bastida’s mattress, according to the affidavit.

Bastida will testify in court in November on charges of assault. 

Kansan correspondent Page Cramer contributed to this report.