Procedures altered after shooting

Story by Kyle Davis

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Nearly three weeks after a gunman fired multiple bullets into the north door of Irwin Hall on Baker University’s Baldwin City campus, the university has reviewed, and changed, emergency protocol and continues to search for the shooter.

Dean of Students Cassy Bailey said the gun used was a revolver and the police found a size-eight shoeprint in the snow made from the gunman. Bailey believes it will be up to others to make sure the man is caught.

“I have the sense, personally, that once people start talking, that’s the only way we’re going to break this,” Bailey said. “And, I think people do know what happened.”

University President Pat Long said some of the university’s procedures have been changed so administrators could classify incidents and decide whether to take precautions.

After the incident, additional security was added during the nighttime hours and police officers are patrolling campus housing areas more often.

Baker University has a text message alert system in place, for emergencies or school closings, called B-Alert.

The B-Alert was not initiated after the shots were fired on Jan. 16 for several reasons, including the police already being on the scene and not many people being on campus due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Only 34 percent of students on the Baldwin City campus were signed up to the B-Alert system at the time of the incident.

“I think Cassy and her staff … did what was best at the time, and I think they did a great job,” Long said. “In the future, would we initiate B-Alert? Yes. Would we initiate a lockdown of all the residence halls? Yes.”

Junior Rebecca Nolte, who was in Irwin the night of the shooting and saw the gunman run away from the scene, said she still feels pretty safe on Baker’s campus.

Nolte said when she looked at the door that was shot, it seemed to her that the gunman had tried to pull the door open and get into the building, which she said the thought of “just scares the living daylights out of me.”

Nolte suggested students should be educated about what to do in case of an emergency on campus.

“I think, even not just Irwin, (but) anybody could really benefit from this because I’m thinking, we live on such a small campus, nothing like this could happen, but obviously it does,” she said. “I think just some kind of extra seminar or something that could just inform people about what you do.”

Baker still has a $1,000 reward out for information leading to a conviction of the gunman.

“This is a serious thing and we will not tolerate this, … we have zero tolerance for this,” Long said. “So, we need to find who did this so that it brings some sense of safety and security back to our campus.”