Monday, September 14, 2015
An American history professor was shot on Monday, September 14th, while sitting in his office at Delta State University in Cleveland in Mississippi. The man shot, Ethan A. Schmidt, was the assistant professor of American history who taught both undergraduate and graduate courses at Delta State. The campus remained on lockdown for several hours. Law enforcement officials suspect Shannon Lamb, a geography and social science professor, of shooting Ethan Schmidt. "Shannon Lamb is also a suspect in the death of a woman in Gautier, Mississippi earlier on Monday", police officials told reporters at a news conference (The New York Times). "Cleveland Police Chief Charles “Buster” Bingham told an afternoon news conference that authorities did not believe Lamb was still on the campus", which is close to the Arkansas-Mississippi state border (Reuters). Investigators said they believe the suspect drove away from the campus after the shooting. "He could be driving a black Dodge Avenger", authorities said, asking anyone with the information to call police (CNN). “We’re working right now under the assumption that both events are related,” a spokesman for the Gautier police, Matthew Hoggatt, told The Sun Herald in Biloxi. “We hope that they are not. But at this point in time, information indicates that they probably are linked in some way, shape or form.”
A deputy coroner in Bolivar County, Murray Roark, said the coroner’s office had been notified of the shooting around 10:40 a.m. A twitter post was made around 12:30 p.m. telling faculty and students to “please stay inside and away from windows,” (Twitter). Officials said the shooting took place near Jobe Hall, where many of the university’s professors have offices. More than 3,000 students are enrolled at the public university and while students and professors remained barricaded in the buildings, some took videos and photos of the campus. At about 1 p.m., one Instagram user wrote, “2 professors and 20 students in classroom ... no word on evacuation yet” (The New York Times).
Classes were cancelled for the remainder of the day and will be cancelled tomorrow as well. Delta State University posted on their website that "counselors from other public state institutions will be on campus tomorrow to conduct group sessions at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and individual sessions will be available beginning at 10 a.m" (Delta State University). "I am deeply saddened by the awful news of Ethan's passing," Sean Cunningham, the department chairman, said in a statement. "He was an outstanding teacher, scholar and friend. Even more importantly, he was an incredible husband and father. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ethan's family" (New York Daily News).
How has social media - like Twitter and Instagram - helped keep our communities safe? Would the framers look highly upon social networking or would they view technology as a threat to the development of dangerous factions or extremists? Having just learned about the case U.S. v. Lopez, should the federal government have the final say regarding gun control or should the states be the ones to decide this right? School shootings are still continuing all over the country. What measures should we take at the federal and/or state level to keep our schools safer?
All Sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/15/us/delta-state-shooting-mississippi.html?ref=us
Source of the image displayed in this post: The New York Times.