Medical Examiner Identifies UT Shooter as Student

Sept. 28, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — The Travis County Medical Examiner has identified Colton Tooley, 19, as the student who killed himself earlier today (Sept. 28) on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin.

Tooley, a sophomore mathematics major from Austin, began firing an AK-47 assault rifle near the Littlefield Fountain at about 8:10 a.m. Officers from the University of Texas Police Department and the Austin Police Department responded to the report and pursued Tooley, who went into the Perry-Castañeda Library. Emergency procedures were implemented. The building was evacuated, text messages were sent to the university community and the outdoor siren and loudspeaker system was activated.

The university will resume normal operations, including class schedules, Wednesday, Sept. 29.

For more information, contact: Robin Gerrow.

130 Comments to "Medical Examiner Identifies UT Shooter as Student"

1.  Alex said on Sept. 28, 2010

However...no one received an e-mail until President Powers'. What's up with that?

2.  Blair Wilson said on Sept. 28, 2010

I am devastated to learn about this tragic situation at UT. My heart, love, support and prayers with sympathy are with the whole campus, and all the friends and families of this student. I am shocked and very saddened of this tragedy. God bless his family and have mercy on his soul.

3.  Tin Maung Win said on Sept. 28, 2010

I am a parent of a student there residing in Myanmar. I am shocked to learn the news and am concerned for the safety of my son in the future. Kindly advise whether the students are trained how to respond to such a situation.

4.  Judith Hiller said on Sept. 28, 2010

I was in a classroom in the RLM for four hours under lock down and was impressed with the behavior of my fellow students. People helped other people through the situation.
I am grateful for the way UT handled the situation and made safety a priority. Thank you. I felt confident in that security. Well done security folks at UT!
I also thank God for His protection to the other students, faculty and workers and all today.

5.  K Nussbaum said on Sept. 28, 2010

Listening to my daughter's recount of the morning events and reading about all the security actions the college admin. and staff took, I am very pleased with the University's response to this scary and tragic event. As I parent, I feel very confident sending my child to UT. Thank you for your swift and thorough response.

6.  Brianna said on Sept. 28, 2010

I recieved two emails before the one from President Powers. As well as text messages, and the loudspeaker in San Jacinto went off twice. I think they warned everyone pretty well.

7.  Kelsie said on Sept. 28, 2010

Thoughts and prayers from our community to yours.

Students, Faculty, & Staff: the University of Houston

8.  Oklahoma Mom said on Sept. 28, 2010

To Tin Maung Win...I'd say they all know how to react:http://www.utexas.edu/know/2010/09/28/emergency_alert/

Kudos to UT's Emergency Text System that goes out to 43,000 students and the Professors who knew NOT to overreact.

Praying for everyone involved and the family of Colton Tooley.

9.  Chris said on Sept. 28, 2010

I think that UT handled it very well and response was exceptional. Very quick and aggresive when getting the word out.
Law enforcement agencies needs to work on communicating with each other though.

10.  Scott said on Sept. 28, 2010

Hey Tin Maung, I am a graduate student at UT. The University runs practice sirens every month so we know what they are when they go off during an event like today. They also sent texts messages and email alerts that instructed us what to do. Myself, I was on the bus into campus and it turned around and wouldn't let us off anywhere near UT. You will never be able to prevent this from happening 100%, but as a student I feel that the University and law enforcement took every reasonable action to keep me safe and most importantly kept me informed so I could keep myself safe.

11.  GradStudent said on Sept. 28, 2010

Tin Maung Win. It is, at best, difficult to get 50,000 students "trained" on how to handle a situation that happens once every 50 years. The University has a system for giving information as to what to do and a track record of safety.

12.  Melinda Martinez said on Sept. 28, 2010

How sad.

13.  Rachel said on Sept. 28, 2010

I am so relieved that no one else was hurt by this. PLEASE stay safe everyone, and Erin I miss you! I hope you're not too shaken up over this.

14.  Randi said on Sept. 28, 2010

I am so sorry to hear about this and my heart goes out to the family of Colton.

My brother was actually on a bus headed to the PCL for an exam and his bus was turned around - not allowed to go to campus.

I graduated from UT 6 years ago too, and there were regular practices held to inform us of how we ought to respond in an emergency.

UT Austin continues to be a place I am proud to have called my undergraduate school, and I feel safe having my little brother there as well. In fact, by about 9:15am EST, our mom, in Philly, PA, had received texts from the school notifying her of the incident.

15.  Mercedes said on Sept. 28, 2010

I never got a text message, but received the President's e-mail. I heard lots of sirens, the helicopter, and my dad called me to tell me not to go to class. If it wasn't for that, I would have went to school not knowing anything. Anyone else have this problem?

16.  Raven said on Sept. 28, 2010

I cant believe this happened, Why cant we implement a counseling system for students who monitor the possibilties of these types of things. I cant believe to even understand what the kid was thinking or trying to accomplish. Very sad and scary

17.  UT Alum said on Sept. 28, 2010

Kudos to how all who handled themselves in such a calm, collected way today during this tragic event. You are a credit to the UT Austin community. Prayers to the family of this very tragic student who chose to end his life.

18.  Mariela Statser said on Sept. 28, 2010

I feel like if there was a second shooter and he knew his way through campus he could of easily gotten away. However, I am pleased of the reaction time.
I was shocked that this could happen at our campus with all the resources available to students. I am glad no one got too shaken up and kept their cool. My condolences to Colton's family, our prayers are with you.

19.  Virginia Raymond said on Sept. 28, 2010

It is a sad day. I am very sorry for the Tooley family, their friends, and community. Heartbreaking.

But once the crisis was underway, kudos to everyone at UT for responding in an effective and not overly alarmist manner: you all -- everyone, students, staff, faculty, administrators -- inspire confidence.

It would have been difficult not to know something was up, I think. I could hear the sirens and loudspeaker two miles west of my campus office, and there a lot of other warning measures that didn't rely on hearing.

The campus is as "secure" as anyplace could be without turning it into an armory. The bigger problems are individual despair, or anger, or some variety of anguish -- not easy to address -- and a lot of modeling of violence. And weapons. The knottier issues are all about prevention, and that's where we need to focus. Meanwhie, take care, everyone.

20.  Tara Haelle said on Sept. 28, 2010

Tin Maung Win, I am a graduate student here, and I attended UT as an undergraduate as well. You can feel safely assured that the university responded well. The Austin and UT police worked together, and text messages were sent out early in the morning. Students receive periodic emails explaining how the siren system works and what emergency procedures are. Whether they read them or not is their responsibility.

This kind of freak tragedy could happen anywhere in the world. Because of its history and incidents like Virginia Tech, the University has an emergency system in place, and all the procedures were followed effectively. The campus was immediately put on lockdown in the areas where the shooter had been and no one was released in those areas until the police were certain the area of safe.

I hope this puts your mind at ease. Your son is as safe here as he would be in any other U.S. city, or any world city, for that matter.

21.  Mitch Fontenot said on Sept. 28, 2010

My deepest sympathies to Mr. Tooley's family and UT.

There are some sick individuals who are now making a mockery of this on Facebook and I hope that UT administration will address this and these individuals and that people will not participate in it.

22.  Sonya Brown said on Sept. 28, 2010

When my daughter text me about the shooting. I asked my father to cover each and every person with the blood of Jesus. We must pray for the young man family. My heart goes out to them.

23.  Lana said on Sept. 28, 2010

Cuddos to all on the UT campus. The text message system in place was extremely informative today. I have seen several interviews with students stating that they did not receive any text messages. YOU HAVE TO SIGN UP FOR THEM. UT sends out emails every semester for students to sign up to receive emergency text messages. I know that as students we are bombarded with emails but it pays to scan them for useful information. It has been one of the best informative tools that I have experienced while at UT.

24.  Sylvia said on Sept. 28, 2010

My daughter was in lock down at Jester for over 3 hours. Everything seemed to be under control. She's back home safely in her aparment. No students were shot because the shooter had already decided not to kill anyone but himself. Thank God for that. I am sorry for his family that have to go through this. Everybody be safe!

25.  Richard Buckner said on Sept. 28, 2010

I was there when Charles Whitman was shooting down from the tower. A friend of mine was an English professor in a room just below the top of the tower cowering under the window and low trajectory police bullets ricocheted through the window and around the room. Her injury was emotional and permanent. I pray that all recover from this frightening and sad event without such scars. Thank god no one else was physically injured.

26.  Cynthia Cunningham said on Sept. 28, 2010

My son reacted as expected - he was walking on 21st to class by the library - heard the siren as he received the text and went to the safety of his dorm room. These students are prepared to react to emergency situations as attested by everyone else returning to the dorm as well. I am saddened that this young man took his own life and pray for his family as they grieve tonight.

27.  Jimmy said on Sept. 28, 2010

I was in a classroom in the basement of nearby MEZ, and nobody in my class ever heard the sirens, and our cell phone signals were weak. We didn't know about the incident until 8:50 when we were set to leave, and one student discovered the news through a text message. Also the lock on our classroom door was not working.

Perhaps this is going a bit too far, but maybe the university should consider a PA system that reaches inside campus buildings, since cell phone coverage can be spotty in places, especially basements. And maybe door locks should be checked occasionally.

28.  Tin Maung Win said on Sept. 28, 2010

Thanks for sharing the information to Oklahoma Mom, Scott and GradStudent. I am relieved.

29.  Lauren said on Sept. 28, 2010

I was in a classroom at jester at the time and could hear a lot going on at PCL outside the window.
I was very impressed with UT's emergency response system. The texts and announcements really put everyone on alert. People were scared, but remained calm and cooperative. For a campus of 50,000, the system definitely exceeded expectations.
Even after today's events, I am still proud to call UT my school.

30.  LISA CABRERA said on Sept. 28, 2010

What a sad thing! My sympathy to the family of Colton Tooley.
My son is a freshman living in Jester Hall. I was so very impressed with the text messages sent to me and him so soon after the gunman was spotted. Thank you UT staff and security for handling the situation so well!!!!!

31.  Jordan Sanchez said on Sept. 28, 2010

To all the student body at UT Austin we are with you and you are in our prayers From us to you. Student Body University Of Texas Pan American UTPA

32.  Marilyn Medo said on Sept. 28, 2010

Thank you UT for your quick response today. I believe this is what prevented further tragedies from taking place.. My daughter is a sophomore at UT and yes, even though I was quite upset, I was impressed while watching the news and seeing how the police, military, and the school had everything under control, and that everyone was kept informed.

33.  Mark A. Curran said on Sept. 28, 2010

I retired from UT after 31 years. I still have business on campus often. I signed up for UT alert in the beginning and it worked well (nothing this serious) I wish I could have received an UT alert this day.

34.  Andrea said on Sept. 28, 2010

I'm a student at UT and, while I have always been very impressed with the notification system we have, I was a little disappointed that the first text message we received (8:22 am) did not specify that we should not go to campus. If there was an "armed suspect" I feel that the message should've been more explicit about not coming to campus. I had a class coming up and I wasn't sure what to do. I had a friend that went ahead and went to campus only to be terrified when she arrived that there were sirens going off. The next text wasn't until 8:43 and it said "stay where you are". Then at 10:20 a text came saying "stay away from campus". The first email I received (which is some students' only way of contact when they are not signed up for the text service) wasn't until 9:53 am. I think we should've been notified immediately by both email and text not to come to campus.

Overall, however, i think the students and staff who were on campus handled the situation very well and stayed calm.

35.  Khadija said on Sept. 28, 2010

I was not on campus today but it saddens and scares me. Yet i kept getting emails and updates. I am proud of the UT system on how they handled it and no one got hurt except Tooley who decided to take his own life.

The mental counseling services are open till 8 pm this week and walk-ins are welcome. UT has always been there for its students/staff/faculty.

36.  College of Education employee said on Sept. 28, 2010

Sanchez building is right next to PCL. Our wonderful staff kept us informed and safe throughout the whole event. We stayed in a secure place the whole time. SWAT team was still a little scary to see up close. Let's pray this tragedy doesn't happen again.

37.  Yolanda Estrada said on Sept. 28, 2010

I was off campus when I received an alert on my cell...a big KUDOS to the University for this. I was able to contact my office to let them know (we work in Sanchez next to PCL) and they had not received the alerts yet, but they went into lockdown mode after my call....

How very sad for the family of this young man who must have been in such a distraught state to do this. May he rest in peace, and our condolences to his family and friends.

Please, be alert and be safe everyone...it is always sad when something like this happens anywhere.

38.  Hillary said on Sept. 28, 2010

It is sad to hear about this incident that happen this morning at UT and my heart is sadden for the family of Colton.

I am thankful that no one else lost their livesor got hurt. To the security officers, police and all that were involved in making sure that all goes well, thank you. My daughter Chantz was heading to that building after her first class when she was inform what was going on, Thank you Jehovah.

I also received a message around 10:14 am which is 9:14 am your time, all the way in the British Virgin Islands notifying me of the incident. Thanks UT I know my daughter is in very good hands.

39.  Alex G said on Sept. 28, 2010

I'm glad to hear that no one was hurt but feel uncomfortable with UT's decision to resume class immediately the day after the shooting. I know class is important but this is just ridiculous.

40.  Lesley Riley said on Sept. 28, 2010

I am very sorry that this young man felt driven to take his life. My condolences to his friends and family.

For any person feeling that level of desperation, please reach out for help. While the circumstances creating that feeling feel insurmountable, they are temporary. And, more people care about you than you can ever imagine.

Thank you to the UT Police Department for keeping us informed and, more importantly, for keeping us safe.

41.  Elaine said on Sept. 28, 2010

@ Alex:
Emails did, in fact, go out well before President Powers sent out his response. From my inbox, at 8:35;
"-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

Armed subject last seen at Perry Casteneda Library and UTC. Shelter in place. UTPD responding."

42.  Patti Blackwell said on Sept. 28, 2010

My son recieved a text at 8:21 AM notifying him of the situation and in turn notified me before hearing it on the news. UT did an excellent job in rapid response and I appreciate it! I remember the bell tower shootings and we have all come along way! Sympathy to the family and students who witness this tragedy.

43.  Andrew said on Sept. 28, 2010

God be with Colton Tooley and his family.

44.  Dana Bernstein said on Sept. 28, 2010

I am truely saddened about todays events. My thoughts and prayers go out to Colton's family and friends. Also to my daughter Britany and everyone that was subject to this devestating event. My main concern is that their was no way for the people in my daughters class to lock the door. They were in the room, everytime the door opened they had no idea who was on the other side. This must be addressed.

Thank you Lord for looking over and protecting all our loved ones today.

45.  Prichard said on Sept. 28, 2010

We are sorry to hear of this incident. We wish UT the best as they recover from this.
Staff of Texas A&M

46.  Ronald Faulkner said on Sept. 28, 2010

UT & UTPD responded professionally. I got text messages and emails. Emergency alarm in my dorm is also keeping us updated.

My deepest condolences to Colton Tooley's family. Hope he rest in peace and may God be with his family.

47.  Aaron Eruera said on Sept. 28, 2010

As a parent of an International student from the other side of the world in New Zealand it was to say the least a bit nerve racking to receive a phone call in the early hours of the morning and being told of what was happening. To hear this brought to mind past history, which I am glad to say, did not repeat. I have to say that I was very happy to hear and see (via live streaming on KVUE) that the procedures in place appear to be very effective. Knowing this makes me as a parent a lot more comfortable with my daughter attending UT.
KIA KAHA

48.  Chuck said on Sept. 28, 2010

I'm with Alex, I didn't receive an email from anyone except President Powers and that wasn't until 10:00. So unless they were so overwhelmed, I thought this was a bit delayed. Luckily, I am signed up for the UT Alert texts and once my test was over (yes we completed it during the whole debacle), I was able to be informed about the situation and stay safe. However, I believe if not Powers, then the department heads of all the schools should send out some kind of email to those that do not have UT Alert Texts. All in all I do think the response was swift and sufficient (maybe even too sufficient as the "All Clear" was severely delayed). In summary, kudos to UTPD.

49.  Crista said on Sept. 28, 2010

I am so saddened about what happened today. Colton must have been in so much pain to do something this drastic. My heart goes out to his family.

50.  Miguel said on Sept. 28, 2010

I'm still thanking God this incident didn't go out of control. Strangely I didn't receive any text message even though I have received them in other emergencies.

51.  BK said on Sept. 28, 2010

I worked on campus when the sirens were installed and were impressed with them there.

But, I heard the sirens from my home in Mueller. I was taking my daughter for a walk and could hear "shelter-in-place" well. I honestly thought it was some type of weather siren at the city park across Airport from us--it was that clear.

It didn't sound like a test message, so we went back to the house to see what was going on or call 311 if nothing was on Twitter.

Great siren system!

52.  Anton said on Sept. 28, 2010

As a student at The University of Texas at San Antonio, I am deeply saddened to hear about this tragic event and pray for the family of the Colton. God be with you!

53.  Ariel said on Sept. 28, 2010

@Alex: Several emails were sent out. You didn't correctly sign up for the emergency notification system, which sends you emails and text messages.

54.  jay davis said on Sept. 28, 2010

i am sorry to hear this incident.....hopefully, nobody will ever does this ever again

55.  Laura said on Sept. 28, 2010

Thank You UT for tak.ing a quick response to what could be every parents nightmare. We live 3 hours away and I am so very grateful to technology. I was able to watch everything thru KVUE.com. Everything was handled as best as emergencies can be handled. Continue to educate your students and staff on safety measures. My prayers go out to the Colton Tooley Family.

56.  Stefanie said on Sept. 28, 2010

May Colton Tooley be at peace, and may God look over him, and all the students, faculty, and staff of UT Austin. It's such a terrible tragedy.

Math Grad Student, University of Texas at Arlington

57.  Adriana Araujo Barros said on Sept. 28, 2010

I am a Brazilian mother who has two sons attending UT right now. My oldest son was locked down in a building and could reach me and told me how was the situation at that time early in the morning. I was very pleased to hear that UT and Austin Police were doing their best in order to keep those kids safe. As a mother of two international students, I would like to say that it is a relief to know that we made the right decision sending our kids to UT, They are REALLY in good hands. Thank you for their safety today and always. May God give that young man's family confort and peace.

58.  Roman said on Sept. 28, 2010

Shocked to hear this news, when I browsed the comments on this, what Andrew said on September 28, 2010 was most impressing: "God be with Colton Tooley and his family."
This must be representative to the American and Christian culture.

59.  db said on Sept. 28, 2010

My wife, two toddlers, and I exited a UT Shuttle bus across from the Dobie Center right before the gunman opened fire. We heard the initial reports of the rifle, turned and watched him fire another volley across 21st. We were able to run to safety. I am so thankful for the rapid response of UTPD, APD, and the alert systems put in place by the university. Thank you so much for protecting faculty, students and staff.

60.  Gayle Mueller said on Sept. 28, 2010

As a Texas Ex, parent of two former students, and the parent of a current student I want to say thank you to the University for your quick response and notification to student's of today's tragic events. Having seen such tragedies at other schools I was extremely proud of UT in every aspect of the situation. From the way the police quickly responded to the report, to the class and dignity that President Powers displayed during interviews I was extremely proud to be associated with UT Austin today. Today could have been far more devastating, my heart goes out to the family of Colton Tooley and may God have mercy upon him. The only suggestion I might even consider making is that students not be allowed to complete registration until they have selected an emergency contact methodology choice. I know I'm grateful my daughter did.

61.  Stephen said on Sept. 28, 2010

I unfortunately never received a text message and I am signed up for emergency text messages. I checked and my phone number is correct on the website, but I never received a text. Not sure why that is, but overall UT was impressive with its security.

62.  Alex said on Sept. 28, 2010

I pray that Colton will find peace. I cannot imagine what he was going through.

63.  sd said on Sept. 28, 2010

If doors don't lock, you should push a table or something heavy in front of the door.

64.  Amy said on Sept. 28, 2010

I was in class in MEZ and, like Jimmy, we did not hear the sirens, had weak cell signals, and were unable to lock our doors. Not being able to lock the doors was quite unnerving, especially when messages are being sent out saying that we should be doing so.

65.  Michael Doeringsfeld said on Sept. 28, 2010

Thank you UT Police Department and Austin Police for having such outstanding departments. My hat goes off to all of you. Your readiness and professionalism has assured me that my daughter is in good hands. Thank you very much.

66.  Hannah A. said on Sept. 28, 2010

I believe that all the buildings were locked at the entrance doors even if individual classrooms were not locked. There are locks on the doors but in many rooms they can only be locked by key. I know that in Parlin you can lock the door from the inside in all the rooms.

I was in the FAC at the time and they locked all the doors and would not let anyone in or out until almost noon. I feel the situation was handled very well and there was immediate reaction from the police. Of course I do agree that the text message should have told students to stay home but there was also an email sent out very soon afterwards (this may have gone to spam for some people) and the sirens went off all over campus.

Knowing how well this was handled, I do feel safe at UT even though the situation until noon was scary and intense. This could have happened anywhere, but UT has tried to prepare students for this type of thing as best as they could. All students should sign up for the emergency text message service if they haven't already, otherwise they will not receive the texts. This is our individual responsibility.

67.  James said on Sept. 28, 2010

Texas Tech University is saddened by this incident and wish UT all the best. Our sincere sympathy to the Tooley family.

68.  Rachel said on Sept. 28, 2010

FYI for people complaining about not receiving texts (for UT students) if you did not sign up for the campus police alerts you obviously wouldn't receive the message. BUT the text was not the only warning give; e-mails were sent, the sirens alarmed everyone. The streets were also promptly blocked off. Though there are always things that can be improved on; I have to say that I am very proud of how my school handled this situation and am grateful for everyone's safety. My heart goes out to the family of Colton Tooley.

69.  Donna said on Sept. 28, 2010

Andrea, no offense, but are the words "armed suspect" not enough to tell you not to come there? It would certainly keep me away until I knew for sure the crisis was averted.

70.  Mercedes said on Sept. 28, 2010

@ Lana, I did sign up for it.

71.  Pud.Kaplan said on Sept. 28, 2010

I pray to God my good buddies Ilona, Spanky and campertard are doing okay. I love you guys. You'll always have a job at Blippy when you graduate.

72.  James Marks said on Sept. 28, 2010

Thank the lord my boy is safe. My thoughts and prayers go out to the young man's family who took his own life. I am so thankful that my boy is okay. What are you thankful for?

73.  Dru said on Sept. 29, 2010

2nd. Time something like this happens at UT. Why?

74.  Jennifer said on Sept. 29, 2010

To Raven: [via 16]
How, exactly, are a handful of counselors suppose to "monitor" 50,000 students? What you're suggesting is unrealistic. There are resources to help students who are having trouble coping with college life, but students have to WANT to use them. You can't monitor or force students to seek help they do not want, same as you cannot force an adult; and remember, college is about becoming an adult. It's tragic that Colton chose those actions, rather than seek help for whatever reason.
-UT student

75.  Brad said on Sept. 29, 2010

Where did the student get the AK-47 from?
This is another reason that STRICTER GUN LAWS should be in place!!!!!

I am so glad that nobody else got hurt, and I feel sorry for the young life we had to lose because of a freedom to have a gun.

76.  Pam said on Sept. 29, 2010

As an out-of-state parent in the Boston area, I want to commend the school and all of the police forces for how it responded yesterday, ensuring the safety of the students. The entire school was very quickly thrown into lockdown and we were in communication with our daughter through her cell phone. We all know this can happen anywhere. But it's the ablity for a school, especially one of this size, to respond so swiftly and methodically that makes all the difference. It brings comfort in knowing UTtakes this kind of situation very seriously and has a well executed plan in place for the safety of your students. It really means a lot. We thank you.

Our deepest condolences to Colton's family during this difficult time.

77.  Karel Spillebeen said on Sept. 29, 2010

And you as Americans still believe that it is a fundamental right for you to carry a firearm at all times? Of course, incidents like the current one will only cause people who do not yet possess a gun (in Texas? probably nobody) to buy one at the local supermarket. There is probably no hope for abolishment of this so-called freedom. Luckily I live in a different country.

78.  Ian said on Sept. 29, 2010

The alert of an "armed suspect" did not adequately project the gravity of the situation and subsequently failed to serve as an appropriate alarm to students. I believe many had initially understood this message to indicate a mere violation of the campus weapons ban.

79.  Jayati Ghosh said on Sept. 29, 2010

The way authorities at UT handled the situation yesterday is commendable. As parent of a freshman student at UT I feel our children there are learning to handle the challenges of the modern day well , guided by responsible authorities at UT.I wish them all luck in all their future endeavours. My condolences to the Tooley family for their irreparable loss.

80.  Marlene Guevara said on Sept. 29, 2010

I truly appreciate the measures taken by the university to inform students, faculty and staff about this devastating event. I myself was informed immediately too, and I no longer attend UT; the various communication tools utilized allowed for this to happen. Thank you for being extremely prepared and keeping our campus safe.

My deepest condolences to Colton Tooley's family; may he rest in peace.

81.  Theresa said on Sept. 29, 2010

For the people who did not get the emails about the events going on at the UT campus, you need to check your spam filter and put the email address on your approved list. Since so many messages were going out at the same time the filter could have blocked it.

82.  Chris Glenn said on Sept. 29, 2010

I received the firts text alert at 8:23 am. The first email (from VP for Univ Ops) was at 8:36 am. Thereafter, I received numerous texts and emails. The Emergency Notification system worked very well for me. Anyone who didn't get these messages should make sure the University has the correct email address/phone # for the system. President Powers should be proud of the way the University community responded to this tragedy.

83.  Sherry Newman said on Sept. 29, 2010

I commend the UT campus police and the local authorities in the manner they handled this tragic situation. My only concern as a parent of Twins that are attending UT, the longhorn shuttle bus' were still picking up kids and dropping them off at campus, even after there was a Lock Down/Shelter in Place. I hope that we never have to endure such a situation ever again, but in the event we do, I hope that the UT shuttles will stop service and not drop students off in the midle of a "War" zone.

I thank god that everyone on campus was and is safe. My prayers are with the family of this young man.

84.  Jimmy said on Sept. 29, 2010

Anyone who committed suicide will feel alone, desperate, and frustrated. If someone talks to them at that moment, the tragedy may not happen.

I am a parent of a UT student. We talk to each other very often. We share our feelings or information every day.

Parents or family members, please call your son/daughter/brother/sister in the college at least once a week. Try to know what’s in their mind. Comfort them for any frustration. Lead them to positive thinking. Hope all students in UT Austin will safely go through their college life.

85.  Sandy said on Sept. 29, 2010

Parents- Make sure you talk to your students often in the next few weeks. The shock of this will be felt for many days/weeks. Let them vent and talk about their feelings. Remember, the responsible thing for the university was to wait until they had confirmed information. There is always so much speculation that the delay in texts was most likely trying to ascertain the facts and plan of action. From the time the call came into 911, APD and UTPD were on the scene in a matter of minutes.

Kudos to the professionals from all walks of life that contributed to the safety our students and faculty. Prayers and Peace for the Tooley Family.

86.  Christian said on Sept. 29, 2010

I graduated from UT in 2009 and when I heard the news of this shocking incident 300 miles away from me I was nothing but saddened and worried for the safety of the University's students, faculty, staff, etc. I'm glad that no one was injured, however saddened to know that a person took his own life. Prayers and thoughts go out to Tooley's family. Keep strong Horns.

87.  Kristin said on Sept. 29, 2010

In reading the above comments I realize I am going to be in the minority here, but I for one was not happy with the way UT handled this situation.

Sure those emergency text alerts worked great, but only for those who knew they existed and were signed up to receive them. If your only access to information was the internet, you saw that UT's emergency site was either down or full of outdated information (the university was still listed as being open over an hour after the initial incident was reported), and immediately went to Facebook and Twitter for an update.

While I thought the police did an excellent job of patrolling the immediate area and searching the individual buildings on campus, many students were still allowed to walk freely, ride their bikes, and stand and watch what was going on, despite the fact that everyone was searching for a possible second shooter.

88.  marlene Carberry said on Sept. 29, 2010

Our daugher attends UT and was on her way to class in the same vicinity where Mr. Tooley was located, it breaks my heart that she will always remember hearing the shots, but I thank the Lord everyday that no one else was hurt . Thank you UT for the quick response and our prayers go out to the Tooley family.

89.  beliza said on Sept. 29, 2010

I'm a grad student and an instructor in the Theatre and Dance Dept. I have taken the course the the ut police offer online on how to react to a shooting.I did not come to campus because after receiving the text (which I agree should have been more specific, after all we do get similar texts when robbers are spotted armed in or around campus)and hearing on the radio about the first shots fired. When I saw the pictures send by some students to the news programs (and asking my students in class today), it was obvious to me that not everyone has taken the trouble of taking the course. While many, led by faculty and RA did barricated in classrooms, offices, basements and dorms, and turned off the lights, others where standing close to windows. Some who were not in lockdown were even as close as possible to the library. As someone who has experienced and survived more natural and mancaused dissasters than she wishes, being prepared is key for survival. True Colton did not take anyones life, but he had all the capability to had that been his goal. True that the police and ut responded promptly and admirably, but let's take the time to prepare for this and other posible emergencies on campus or whereever we might encounter them. Let's see what we as individuals can do, and also ut what can be done to make the response even better than it was. Again, chances are we will never have to experience a campus shooter again, but are we prepared for fires, unlikely tornados?

90.  Yezi said on Sept. 29, 2010

I am a recent graduate from UT. I was very impressed with the quick response and mass communication system that reached the majority of the student body. I was a resident assistant for two years during which we experienced how the University implemented more methods dealing with crisis after Virginia Tech's shooting.
My prayers to all the UT students, faculty, staff, and parents and relatives as well as the Tooley's family.

91.  Marta said on Sept. 29, 2010

My daughter studies on the 6th floor of the PLC regularly. She has expressed a desire to do something to heal the site of young Colton's tragic end. What is the University's policy? Will the 6th floor be closed for the semester? Will anything be done?

92.  Karla Flores said on Sept. 29, 2010

Thanks to UT police for safety and God bless his soul and his family!

93.  Victor said on Sept. 30, 2010

I'm a UT-ex, and my son is currently a UT Junior. He left PCL 10 minutes before the shooter entered. As parents who live five hours away from Austin, we were, of course, very concerned. Then, our son called from the building he was locked-up in, and told us what was going on.

He related to us that he had received the text message from President Powers and that this had decidedly helped him in deciding to seek shelter immediately, He told us how the rapid the administration response had been to the event, and by everything else my son told me I consider this to be a shining moment for UT as an institution charged with the education and care of young adults.

The University did what it promised me it would do--took care of my kid. For this, I commend the University, and I stand proud today to say that I am--and my son is--a Longhorn.

Hook'em.

Dr. V

94.  Rochelle Lacy said on Sept. 30, 2010

I was a recent grduate when the Tower Shooting occurred and had friends who were killed . One of my co-workers was the wife of the policement who killed the shooter at that time. It was a devestating time for all of us. I pray for the university and those involved in this incident.

95.  Derek Citty said on Sept. 30, 2010

As a parent of two UT students, I greatly appreciate the preparation and planning that went toward the university's response to this tragedy.

Thank you for protecting my kids.

My heart goes out to the Tooley family.

96.  Melanie said on Sept. 30, 2010

If someone did not receive a text message, it's because they have not registered their cell phone number with the university's emergency warning system. It can be done online through your UT eid.

My prayers go out to Colton's family and friends. May God comfort each of them.

97.  Stephanie said on Sept. 30, 2010

The sirens were very lound (a good thing!). I could hear it all the way from my apartment in west campus. Plus the text messages and emails from the University helped as well. Thanks to all that kept this situation from getting out of control. We are lucky that no innocent bystanders were injured. Proud to be a Longhorn.

98.  David Wilson said on Sept. 30, 2010

I am proud to be a UT alumni, and proud of the UT Police Department response to this situation. My family and I developed some great relationships with some UT Police Officers and I know they are as professional as any Law Enforcement officers anywhere in the country.

My heart and prayers also go out to the Tooley family. Such tragedies are difficult to comprehend.

99.  Ana Lopez said on Sept. 30, 2010

My condolences to this youg man's family.
As a mother of a freshman international student at UTAustin I feel scared about what happened. My country is going through a very violent and difficult time right now, which saddens us very much. We used to be a peaceful country, not anymore. And we never expected to be livig like we are now, afraid and helpless., in constant terror. I know how easy it is to loose peace. It's somethig very fragile and special, that we should never give it for granted. I'm very impressed for the safety actions taken by the UT police, I feel that my son is safe as safe can be because of the great effort of the University's committment and organization for handlig this kind of tragic events. I know because of all the safety systems implemented at UT that they know this and know what they are doing, they are all about prevention which is most important, but they are not magicians. Even though my son is much safer in UTAustin, than in any place in our hometown, I've always known that in this world no one is really safe anywhere anymore.
I congratulate the UT Police Department for doing their best to keep the peace that you have, this job is so very difficult, special and valuable, and their presence so indispensable that I can only be thankful for all your effort.

100.  Pam said on Sept. 30, 2010

My daughter was in a classroom building next door throughout the lockdown from 8am until noon. She alerted us by text messages that this incident was going on. Our daughter sounded calm and felt safe but I'm sure nervous. Her professor handled it well. A policeman checked on their room at one point. All in all I felt all the law enforcement professionals and the University did a fine job. I feel that everyone learned something from the VA. Tech tragedy and prepared, although this gunman did not seem intent on killing others.

I have the same question as Brad previously, what was this young man doing with an AK-47! I was grateful that the proposed law allowing students and others to carry guns on campus had not passed previously. Ironically a gun "rights" advocate, John Lott, was scheduled to speak that night at the Law School through some student group that advocates weapons on campus. I shudder to think how much worse this tragedy could have been if non - law enforement professionals were carrying at the time.

101.  olfatmanesh said on Sept. 30, 2010

As a parent ! I would like to thank all the managment of UT for managing this incident with the most secure way ! I wish Colton was also saved too ! my condolences and Sympathy are with his parents and friends.

May God bless his family and friens and have mercy on his soul.

102.  Nina Gray said on Sept. 30, 2010

I graduated from UT in 1977 and have a son there now. Of course I was concerned about the safety of my son, however, I am deeply saddened about what state this young man must have been in and why, and my heart goes out to his family and friends. Let us be reminded to listen to others and to lend a hand to those who feel burdened or overwhelmed with life.

103.  kerry said on Sept. 30, 2010

by all accounts the reaction by untiversity officials and police departments was flawless. to all previous commentors that express doubt, my i ask what system is perfect? this one worked darn well and we are all thankful it turned out great for our children that are students at UT. my son was safe and had accolades to say about the system that worked. Hook em Horns!

104.  Malathum said on Sept. 30, 2010

Please plan the ways to prevent the imitative behavior of other students, which is not healthy.
Take care!

105.  j kim said on Sept. 30, 2010

As a graduate of UT and also having a daughter currently attending UT I commend the University's quick and immediate action as a parent you think college campus' are safe haven for your child; as I received the text on my phone I could only think about Columbine and Va Tech it sent shudders down my spine. I just wanted to hear my daughter's voice and thank God I did. Great job UT emergency team finally my heart goes out to the Tooley's family your son never tried to harm anyone I'm just so sorry he could not get help to prevent his passing.

106.  Stephanie Kemp said on Sept. 30, 2010

My prayers are with the family and the entire UT family, faculty, students, support staff, Ex Student Association, and all graduates of All UT schools. I embrace you with my love of this University, its mission and goals to educate the leaders of the future, to explore new possibilities in all curriculum areas that we offer, as we go boldly in that task let nothing deter us. Continue to give to scholarships today to help us accomplish this mission. I ask Jesus for peace and strength in this task and discernment to see what lessons we can learn from this tragedy. Remember to thank God daily for the fabulous education you received here at UT Austin. My mother, whose scholorship is at the Ex Student's Association
( in her memory) graduated UT in 1946 as one of the first women with degrees in Accounting and my son graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2007 with a BA in English. Bless all the professors here especially Dr. Howard Miller who both my son and I had for History.
As Always,
Stephanie Steffler Kemp
Class of 1976 - BA Government
Doing the Double Nickel

107.  mike said on Sept. 30, 2010

I was in the tower during the 1966 shootings, and based onthe comments I've read, the University is much better prepared for such as situation now. With no warning or notification system, people continuted to walk around the campus, unaware of the shooter until they actually saw someone hit. I nearly walked out of the tower buiilding myself, until I saw/heard a bullet ricochet off the undergraduate library building. Good job this time, everyone.

108.  Anisul Islam said on Sept. 30, 2010

I am a parent and I have two daughters who are attending UT currently. I was shocked at the incident and I was worried the whole day about the safety of all students, faculty, staff including my two daughters. I am glad the incident is over and sincerely hope that this type of incident does not happen again.

109.  Shauna said on Sept. 30, 2010

As first time college Freshman parents, we were very pleased with the notification process for the students. Our son was in the Music Bldg for an 8:00am class and through texting with him, learned of how he had been notified of the situation. Not only did he receive the text from the Alert System, but also had an administrator come by the classroom to ask everyone to stay put. I asked him if he felt safe and he said he felt perfectly safe and was fine. Thank you to the Univ and those given the responsibility of keeping our children as safe as possible. My prayers do go out to the family and friends of this young man and I am thankful no one else was injured. I can say I am proud to be a Longhorn Parent!

110.  marilyn said on Sept. 30, 2010

after hearing from his dad telling me from the news, my son answered when i called and he sounded positive and explained about the swat team. i am also happy to hear that my son said that he will be a part of the suicide prevention group which i guess is already being started. also i am very happy to know how quick the parent group at ut respond to let me know the safety of how things are after the incident. i am also happy to know that the lutheran church, which my son attends, is there for my son to talk with about this matter or anything else.

111.  Beth Schrader said on Sept. 30, 2010

The response by UTPD and APD was excellent. I offer a couple of items for consideration by the emergency response office at UT:

1. Please allow students to specify more than one number for emergency alerts. They often want their parents to also be notified, especially if we live in the area.

2. My daughter was in Welch Hall and they did not hear the sirens. Please make sure the sirens are audible inside all buildings.

3. During the lock down, the students in Welch Hall were evacuated and marched across campus. This would have been extremely dangerous if there was a second armed person on campus. The group (many, many students) were first led in one direction, then another. When they arrived at Dean Keaton St. no one knew what to do, so many of them just walked back to their dorms or apartments. Shouldn't "lock down" mean lock down...stay in place, do not go walking across campus?

112.  Linda said on Sept. 30, 2010

Our daughter Darien was really close to the PCL situation at the time of the shooting. She was shaken up quit a bit; thank God she is all right. Thank you to UT and the security measures in place for an excellent response and doing your best to take care of all our precious children.

Darien, we love you very much and stay safe.

Our prayers go out to the Tooley family.

113.  viji somanath said on Sept. 30, 2010

I have my girl studying at UT. She is majoring in music. I panicked when my husband called me and told me that there was a shooting at UT. i instantly called my daughter to find out is she was OK. I was worried for all the other students, too. I pray for the peace of the entire Tooley family. Viji Somanath

114.  Jimmy said on Sept. 30, 2010

Can President Powers guarantee that there will be no more campus shootings in the future? No, he cannot! That’s the problem. How could Tooley get an AK-47 assault rifle easily on campus?

President Powers, please do something to prevent anything like this in the future.

UT Parents

115.  Tom said on Sept. 30, 2010

To Karel Spillebeen:

As a UT alum who has lived all over the world, I can tell you that the U.S. tends to have better security practices than other areas - except some of the more repressive societies. BUT you feel compelled to criticize us even though you live elsewhere?

116.  Anju said on Sept. 30, 2010

My condolences and sympathy are with the parents of Colton. I wish this situation could have been avoided. Thanks to the university authorities and police for handling the situation.

117.  Jackie said on Sept. 30, 2010

In 1966 there was no warning system. The only warning was through the ricochet of bullets and the screaming of victims. People were shot and killed blocks away from looking through windows to see the tower. Many of us were caught and pinned down on the campus for several hours. These thoughts and images never go away. It was after this event that the Counseling Center was established. I hope those who are affected by this recent event will avail themselves of their services. Believe me, you will be greatly helped.

118.  UT Retired said on Sept. 30, 2010

To Karen Spillebeen (77): No one advocates the illegal use of a firearm in Texas or in the United States of America. And you certainly can't purchase one at the supermarket. We, in Texas, and the U.S. are grateful that this tragedy was handled quickly and professionally by law enforcement, the university and students. We send our love and condolences to the boy's family.

119.  delma said on Sept. 30, 2010

First of all, thank God no other people were hurt and my condolences to the family. As a parent of a freshman, my concern is how was the student able to get an AK-47 on campus?

120.  Anna said on Sept. 30, 2010

I am grateful no one else was hurt by the actions of the young suicide victim... I pray for the young man's family. I do not believe that by enacting more restrictive laws we will prevent suicides and violence.

121.  Gilbert said on Sept. 30, 2010

I received the text message at 0821, UT alert. My daughter is a freshman there and did not receive the text. She was walking to Jester during the situation, seen the lights / heard the siren and did not know what was happening or what she should do. Finally someone shouted all classes have been cancelled and there's a shooter at the library.
Who does she need to contact to get her cell phone added to the message alerts?

122.  Hector Meza said on Sept. 30, 2010

I was shocked to hear the news. How can a student get access to an AK-47 and even worse have it and trasnport it within University grounds. There are many aspects to look into. Parents, we play an important role in this too. We need to be more involved with them and the university.

123.  Arasi Aravindhan said on Sept. 30, 2010

I am a graduate student at UT.
The next time (and hopefully there wont be one ) , in the event of a similar emergency, the first message should be "Please don't come to campus till further notice". This message was sent out very late.

But thanks to everyone for taking care of the student community!

124.  Leticia Garza said on Sept. 30, 2010

My daughter is a student at UT, and I am so relieved that no one else was hurt. Thank god UT police and Austin police responded quickly. I recommend metal detectors be installed.

125.  Connie Brown said on Oct. 1, 2010

I applaud the response of the university and law enforcement personnel during this tragedy at UT.
For those who have been critical, remember, hindsight is 20/20. We don't need Monday morning quarterbacks.
I am thankful no one was hurt besides the young man who took his own life. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. I remain staunch in my support to the entire UT system.

126.  Charles Hueter said on Oct. 1, 2010

To those wondering how anyone could bring a firearm on the UT campus, is it really a stretch of imagination to think he or she would cover it up in a bag or long coat?

The only way to prevent this is to have security examine the possessions of each and every driver, car passenger, biker and person on foot trying to enter the campus. That kind of security is incredibly intrusive and expensive. It also would deepen the traffic nightmare around the area, delaying thousands of people every day.

There are over 20 ways to enter the main campus just by roads. Think of the open lawns and areas between buildings. The necessary fencing would be costly, ugly and ineffective against a determined invader.

Who knows why Tooley did what he did. But these places are called "soft targets" for a reason.

127.  A. Gordon said on Oct. 1, 2010

I thank God for the protection of UTPD, APD and other security forces in the Austin area. The police don't have the best reputation in the Austin area, but they really took charge of this situation. Well done. Kudos to all of the students involved. From the reports I've heard, everyone stayed calm and followed proper security measures. I was a student at the university not long ago, and I'm not sure I would've been able to handle the situation the same way had it been me. (I was nervous watching it on CNN!) Prayers for Colton's family. We send our deepest regrets for your loss. Thanks to every blogger who has shown respect for the deceased and his family during this unfortunate tragedy.

128.  Imelda Bernardo said on Oct. 1, 2010

I was so nervous when I heard of the shooting and am glad my son was in his dormitory when that happened. I cried not only because my son was safe but I can feel the sentiments of the Tooley family, particularly his parents. It is so sad for parents not to know what was wrong with their son to commit such a horrible act and they don't have a way of finding out because he was gone. My prayers for the Tooley family.

129.  Julia Gilstrap said on Oct. 2, 2010

The Tooley family is in our thoughts and prayers. Our family is saddened for the loss of their son, and pray for God's strength to guide them through this tragedy. Thanks also goes out to UT and law enforcement for doing an excellent job in keeping our son, and the 50,000+ students and staff, safe and alerted during the incident.

Sincerely,
Joel, Julia, Blake and Garrett Gilstrap

130.  Susan Mackey said on Oct. 3, 2010

Our thoughts and prayers go to the Tooley family. We cannot imagine what this young man was going through. I have a son at UT, but pray for all at UT. So sorry this happened.