On Tuesday, January 17, at approximately 4:26 pm, Radford University received warning of a shooting that occurred off campus. Alerts poured in from the University to the students via email, text, and, for those who were in class during the time of the warning, projector screens. The warnings all ended with the assurance that there was “no threat to the campus community.” In addition to the alerts, students all over campus began receiving texts and calls from concerned parents and friends to make sure that they were safe. Immediately after the alerts, there was a wide range of emotional responses from students on campus. Some were apparently unconcerned with the threat.
“This kind of stuff happens all the time where I’m from,” said one student. “Plus I hear gunshots on a regular basis near my apartment on Dark Side.”
Others felt more uneasy about the warnings. Some professors whose classes were still in session at the time of the warning let their students out so they could ensure worried parents on the phone that no students had been harmed, or so they could go somewhere they felt was safer. Some students felt perplexed as to why there wasn’t more information included about the incident in the email, but a couple hours after the initial warning, students received another email report that released more information. This report claimed that the Radford City Police Department aided in the chase of a suspicious vehicle that ended in a parking lot off Grove Avenue. The suspect exited the vehicle and eventually inflicted a gunshot wound on him or herself. The report also claimed that no police fired their weapons and again assured that there was no threat to the Radford community. After this final email, most students moved on fairly quickly, and even hours afterward, it seemed like the incident was already beginning to be forgotten.