Fresno police, officials respond to shooting

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Fresno State President John Welty, left, and Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, discuss how no information pointed to the suspect, Fresno State student Jonquel Brooks, ever being on campus during the search for him.
Juan Villa / The Collegian

Fresno State President John Welty described the shooting incident that took the life of a former Fresno State student and wounded two other people, including a current student, as a “senseless tragedy.�

As the event unfolded, Fresno State first alerted students through the Fresno State News Web site, which notified them about a police incident near Cedar and Barstow avenues.

An e-mail was sent to students at 4:49 a.m. informing students of “considerable police activity� near the intersection.

By 10 a.m. Welty had released a statement on Fresno State News in which he said, “The University Police Department is confident that Fresno Police Department has the suspect contained and the situation under control. We are conducting classes even as we are working to help all our students who were there and all other students affected by this sad incident so near our campus.� The statement was not e-mailed to students.

Though it was later determined that the suspect had not been contained, Welty said in a press conference held after the suspect’s apprehension that there was no indication that the suspect was ever on campus.

Public Information Officer Amy Armstrong of the University Police Department said university police were not involved in the actual police activity. Armstrong said, “Our officers weren’t over there securing the area� because it was a matter for the city of Fresno.
However, Armstrong said university police officers were patrolling the campus and helping with the diverted traffic.

Welty said Fresno State’s emergency team worked to protect the campus and to provide updates and online alerts.

University Spokeswoman Shirley Armbruster told The Fresno Bee, “There was never an indication there was a threat to the campus.�

As students may not have been aware of the fact that the campus remained open during the incident, Provost Jeri Echeverria sent an e-mail “To All Faculty,� which indicated that students may have chosen not to come to campus because of being misinformed or because of concerns for their safety.

In the e-mail, Echeverria also noted that a number of students had been evacuated and were not able to return to their homes before the start of the school day. For these reasons, Echeverria wrote, “Faculty should be understanding and accommodative of students missing classes on Tuesday, May 8 and should carefully consider how to evaluate assignments due on that date.�

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