Journal: Real-Time Warning Saves University

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Experts credit UT, police with sparing lives

The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN – University of Texas junior Eric Gladstone was sitting in his 500-student organic chemistry class Tuesday morning when his cellphone buzzed with a text message – an urgent warning that a gunman was loose on campus.

Looking around, he noticed others glancing at their cellphones and registering the same worry he was feeling.

The warning sent throughout campus by administrators was prompted by reports that a young man, clad in black, wearing a ski mask and wielding a semiautomatic AK-47, had fired shots as he entered the southern edge of campus. The gunman, 19-year-old UT student Colton Tooley, fatally shot himself after police chased him into a library. No one else was injured.

Within 15 minutes of the first police calls, sirens, e-mails, the UT website and public address systems blared the warnings, telling more than 55,000 students, faculty and staff members that the campus was in lockdown and urging everyone to stay behind locked doors. Meanwhile, law enforcement from the university, city and state swarmed to the site.

UT’s efficient alarm system – practiced and coordinated by law enforcement only weeks before – was credited by local and national experts with probably sparing the campus from injuries and death.

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Phi Beta Iota: ATTABOY UT.  This was a text-book demonstration of responsible university preparation.  There is only one other thing that students need to be taught: “Rush & Crush.”  They must be drilled the way infantry drills for ambush responses.  This is the “swarm” defense.  Everyone close enough, call it out, throw something, then “Rush & Crush.”

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