Some Purdue University students said desks and chairs were put up against their classroom doors soon after the university’s emergency alert system was activated.
“We were just stuck in there thinking and waiting for answers,” said Hannah Sauce, a Purdue University student.
Students described the uncertainty in the air and the fear as they waited for more information. Many of them took to social media where they also report seeing a lot of rumors.
“She heard commotion and demands from the shooter,” said Kara Garrison, a student who said her good friend heard the shooting.
“At that moment, we didn’t have that much information,” said Kyle Pendergast, Purdue University Student Body President.
Hours later the students would gather for a candlelight vigil on campus. Hundreds of students would show up as would top university officials.
At 12:03, university officials said police recieved a report about the shooting, and the university’s emergency alert system, that in part sends text messages and emails to students, was activated.
The first message was also tweeted. At 12:19, the university sent this alert:
“Shooting reported on campus. Bldg Electrical Engineering; Avoid area; Shelter in place. Check purdue.edu for updates.”
By 12:32, the university would tweet that someone was in custody. At 1:38, the campus was to “resume normal operations,” and at 1:46,
the words, “no ongoing threat to campus” were tweeted.
“It is unnerving. It does worry you, but at the end of the day, I think the Purdue Police Department and everyone else involved handled it as well as they could have,” said Pendergast.
University officials said they sent the message to resume normal operations as they were discussing cancelling classes. Approval to do just that came later from the university president. A tweet was seen after 4 p.m.
Classes were cancelled the remainder of the day and Wednesday.
Counselors have been made available to students, staff and faculty.