Potential Shooting Places Campus Safety Into Question


Kristina Vakhman

The CCSU Police Department is increasing campus patrol after a potential shooting.

Isabella Chan, News Editor

With 255 mass shootings in 2019 to date, the number of shootings has officially surpassed the number of days in the year. This pandemic has made almost any environment perilous and threatening, including the Central Connecticut campus.

Just a few weeks ago, a former Central resident student showed potential interest in committing a mass shooting using illegal, high capacity weapons. In a witness statement, the suspect claims he “did not have the intention of committing any mass shootings at all whatsoever.”

Following the suspect’s arrest, President Dr. Zulma Toro released a statement proclaiming the former student is banned from the campus and is on interim suspension as the investigation goes further. The letter also states Central, New Britain and State police will be increasing patrols on and surrounding the campus.

“While we don’t anticipate any issues at this point, I want to assure you that we are taking this situation very seriously,” President Toro said. She is ensuring, “every precaution is [being] taken to ensure you and our campus remain safe.”

This past summer, CCSU Police and New Britain Police partook in training lessons in preparation for such events, including active shooter training and SWAT training.

Within the Central Connecticut Faculty Guide for Safety, which is available online for the public, it is advised for one to run, hide or fight when coping with an active shooter.

There is currently no active shooter training for students, which has become a concern for on-campus residents and for their parentsFor those dropping off their children and just learning about the potential threat of a mass shooting is worrisome to say the least, regardless of the future protection plans.

Deb Satonick was unaware of the potential threat that was posed on campus just weeks ago. As she moved in her daughter for her sophomore year, safety was not only a concern for her child but for the roommates as well.

“In light of everything going on with colleges across America it is almost like people have to be afraid to go to school,” Satonick stated as she unloaded boxes.

“It is concerning because I believe in the Second Amendment, the right to hold and bear arms, but I’m very politically inclined and don’t think we do enough background checks or vet them properly,” Satonick expressed. “We have means in place for overseas terrorism that we are not allowed to do in our country and yet we have terrorism in our country.”

Satonick recommended for random in-depth searches of dorm rooms, along with better connections with New Britain Police to ensure secure patrols of the campus. She fears that suspending the suspect would create more motive for them to return.

“Now, [they] have more motivation [to attack] because he is pissed off at the authorities and at Central. [They] should be on the watch list constantly,” Satonick added. Despite the interim suspension, she believes the suspect “can walk through campus and no one would notice.”

Two freshmen who were uninformed of the possible danger had expressed feelings of insecurity on campus safety and protection.

“Now that I know there was a potential shooting situation not so good. They’ve could’ve amped it up a bit more because I don’t want to get shot,” Sarah Guadiana, elementary major, said after learning of the incident.

Although they hold concerns for the future, Katie Bate’s believed “there’s not much we can do about it until some legislation is passed.” Which she is correct to a certain degree – within the state of Connecticut, it is legal for one to carry an unlimited number of firearms, dressed in combat gear as long as they possess a permit.

Although members of the Central community remain uneasy following the shooting threat, President Toro is ensuring the campus will working diligently to keep all protected.

“As we continue to prepare for the start of a new semester, have no doubt that the vibrancy, safety and well being of our Central Family will always be uppermost in my thoughts,” President Toro said in her closing statement.