Part 1 of the passages I found most interesting.
User walinpch: “I was a Sophmore at Northern Illinois University when Cole Hall was shot up. At the time I was in my dorm getting finishing my school work before my girlfriend came out for Valentines Day. My roommate was just about to leave for class, which would have been in Cole Hall, when my RA came into our room and calmly told us there had been reports of a shooting and to not leave the dorm. At first it hadn’t really sunk in what was actually going on but then we went to the window and could see about 3 or 4 helicopters circling the campus. Then we turned on the news and realized how serious the situation was. During the first hour or 2 I remember getting calls from everyone I new seeing if I was ok and myself texting as many of my friends as I could to make sure they were all ok. Cell service was really bad due to the amount of people getting calls and texts. My roommate and my best friend both had the next class in the auditorium that was shot up. Another one of my friends was in building next to Cole Hall when it happened and had a bunch of injured people running for safety into her building. I think it was like a week before spring break so the school cancelled that week and when we came back to school Cole Hall was completely closed off. I remember the first few days back teachers weren’t really pushing students to complete assignments and more of them were interested in talking about what happened. They brought in extra sercurity to walk the halls which was a little distracting but they also brought in snacks and a lot of therapy dogs for at least the first weeks to help students feel more at ease. I also remember there was a lot of controversy about people treating the shooter as some sort of victim and people burning a cross or something like that, that was put out because he was someone who was ‘lost’ before the shooting. I’m not sure why that stuck with me. I remember the memorial going up right by Cole Hall but I still don’t know if Cole Hall is there anymore. I moved to AZ right after college and when I go home now to visit family I never have a car to take and visit. I still want to go someday just to walk around.”
User garglius: “Finally something I can answer to on reddit and its something as dark as this.
I was at Dawson College in Montreal when on September 13th 2006, Kimveer Gill shot up the school wounding 19 people and killing one girl.
I was on the 6th floor in a chemistry lab as it happened. My phone rang and I excused myself to answer it since its rare that it rings (I usually text). It was my mom asking if I was okay because there seemed to be a shooter in the school. I told her I was fine, and that it was probably just a fluke, since the week earlier we had been evacuated for a gas leak.
When I got back to class EVERYONE was on their phone or trying to look out the windows. Our teacher told us that we wouldn’t be allowed to leave class until further notice and that a suspected shooter was in the school. We could see swarms of cops surrounding the school and sirens were blaring everywhere.
A good while later, a police officer came to the door of our class to tell us that we had to stay there until the entire school had been searched (they did not know how many shooters there was at the time and were making sure everyone was safe). Once that happened and a cop came to escort us out, we essentially went through the school as if it was a maze (instead of taking the stairs down to the closest exit, they made us go down 1 or 2 flights, walk down halls, down different stairs, etc.) We did this until we got to the atrium, which was the room where the main shooting had happened.
In the atrium it looked like a battlefield. Broken glass, blood, abandoned bags and belongings everywhere. We got rushed out past what I imagine was Gill’s body bag into a flurry of reporters wanting to know how it was on the inside. I answered a few questions for one and then tried to meet up with some friends (which was hard, since cellphone lines were always full). Finally found them, and one of my friends dad drove us home after we stopped for some food.
Now to answer your question. After returning (which was 2 weeks after if I recall) all the classes were considered 'optional’ for a good amount of time. Classtime was spent talking about the events that unfolded and people were encouraged to share whatever they wanted to help them get through the tragedy. Class curriculums were reworked in order to accomodate a shorter semester. Exams were delayed or cancelled. My canoe camping trip was pushed from mid september to mid october (big difference temperature wisr in Canada). People were allowed to drop out from the semester without penalty. It took a good month for things to pick back up to normal pace and by the winter semester, you wouldn’t of been able to tell from the attitude of the students that something horrible had happened a few months prior. They did install a huge amount of extra surveillance inside the school though as they were fixing the damages caused.
So that’s pretty much it. I’d be happy to answer questions if anything is unclear or if it seems I left anything out.”
User Dudemancool3: “Well. Let’s just start with a basic summary. Low security at the gym section of Reynolds High School in Troutdale, OR. I was a freshman. The shooter was as well. It was the first day of finals, probably 6-14 minutes before class started and we began. Shooter was in locker room with “guitar case” and geared up when the lone victim Emilio Hoffman walked in. Shooter grabbed a gun and shot him once. Killing him on spot. Two teachers run over, shooter fires, grazes a teacher who runs out to office to put school in lockdown. Responders come and trap shooter. After that nothing exciting happens. I was sitting in the corner of my language arts class. In the dark. Listening to a police scanner. Eventually police escort us out with hands up and we get searched. The rat of the day and months following are a blur. Coming back was bad. They remodeled the gym so it looked different. I still walk in the locker room and bathroom and think “people died here”. I don’t feel safe in school and never will. I’m consistently on edge when in the main building. It’s worse in the gym. No one has felt safe. Every June 10th is worse. Some of us handle it better. Some of us don’t. The school won’t ever be the same. Ever. They can clean up blood and bullet holes but they can’t erase memories.”
User csp256: “One of the professors at my university (Amy Bishop) shot six other professors (who I didn’t know) in the face during a meeting before her gun jammed. Three of them died.
We all knew she was crazy and we all expected something like this to happen. She even made jokes about it the year before.
She came and talked to a “careers in science” style Freshman class, and during the Q&A she derailed the conversation to how tenure works and how cut throat it is to get, and another student asked what would happen if she was denied tenure. Her response, the one sided smile on her face, the way she said “well…” and laughed in the way that people do not laugh - every single alarm bell in my head went off. I knew she was planning on killing someone. I had the misfortune of growing up in a way where I learned at a young age to tell the difference between someone who was really fucked in the head and someone who just had a couple of problems, and I was 100% certain Amy Bishop was a killer. But, fuck, what was I supposed to have done?
Turns out, she had already murdered her brother, sent pipe bombs to
people who stood in her way, wrote “fiction” books about someone who
murdered their brother & kills people after being denied tenure, and
had a history of physical violence with random strangers too. The
university never did a background check. There was at least one other
professor openly campaigning to have her fired because she was, uh,
obviously a dangerously crazy person.
The day of, I told a friend of mine that there had been a shooting at our school. His first reaction was “Dr Bishop?”
I was off campus for the actual shooting, working across the street.
Our workplace didn’t go into lockdown; we worked with kids. It was just a
couple minutes after I first checked the news that she had been
They evacuated a building on campus while I was in it a couple weeks later because there was fears she had placed a Herpes virus-based weapon (she had done work on the Herpes virus). Turns out she was just talking shit - but it was what had happened in her book about herself.
I’ve never been in the room where the shooting happened. They retroactively took her name off of EVERY document it was on. Legal or not, all of her research got her name scrubbed off of it. We got a new slogan for our school out of it (“Charge On”), and we had therapy dogs come to every class for a week or two later. It never really effected me. I felt like I had been primed for it in some way.
Two weeks prior to this, my former elementary school had a fatal shooting. An abused boy was told by his addict mother that he had to earn for his family, and another student owed him money and wouldn’t give it back, so he shot him in the head. I don’t usually have a lot of sympathy for murderers, but I hope that kid gets the help he needs and manages to live his life. As I’ve been led to understood, he was pushed into it by his shit stain of a mother. Amy Bishop can burn, though.
It is a funny thing: In that “careers in science” class Amy Bishop talked to us about her research, where momentarily stopping and restarting a persons heart ~2 hours before heart surgery significantly decreased the damage caused by the much more invasive heart surgery. There is a symmetry between that, and the shooting in my home town.
PS: Never mind how her husband mighhhht have been complicit. He was
seen giving her the bag with ammo et al the day of the shooting, and
knew about most or all of her history… including her fan fiction of
User DunblaneUser: “Hope I’m not too late.
1996, when I was 7, a man came into our school and killed 16 children
and their teacher. I remember that we were in the classroom down the
hall to the hall where assemblies and PE used to happen.
Our Teacher was handing out our books when we heard the first round of guns shots. I remember not actually knowing what was going on but our teacher told us to get to the back of the classroom and stay quiet. She moved the tables infront of the door and started barricading them.
I remember the guns shots we’re in succession. Groups of two. I remember it took so long for the shots to stop, and I was just frozen. I was aware something was happening, but was mostly scared of how panicked and scared our teacher was. The look of fear on her face still haunts me. We waited maybe 3-5 minutes and then shots came in through the door. I remember there was no screaming but just curled up children on the floor. Our teacher stayed on the door whilst the gunshots came through. They hit chairs and the library near us. It went quiet then I just remember a single shot. We waited 10 minutes before my teacher went out. She told us to stay on the floor and hide till she came back.
The police came and we taken out of the classroom through the windows. We couldn’t go through the hallway because of the bodies in the gym. I just remember my mother running up to me in panic and hugging me.
We had a lot of time off, and we all went to the funeral. My mother took me out of that school and after I had to talk to psychologists, because my mother thought it was the best thing to do.
I’m now 27 and I’m still haunted by what happened that day. As I grow much older I feel much more responsible for what happened. Whilst children were getting shot, I was in a room hiding. I sometimes think of how those children would have grown up.“
User Denso95: “German school shooting, about 16 people were killed there in 2009.
I never came back to this school. I was in 7th or 8th grade, I don’t know. We had to stay in containers for like 3 years, then the school would be okay to go in again with many new things and security doors all over the place. I didn’t get to see that because I left school just before everyone else went in.
As long as the containers were built we had to stay in another school for a few weeks. They organized special rooms for us. Our school was a “Realschule” (Like Middle school), the other one was a “Hauptschule” (Lower Education School). So those uneducated “Hauptschüler” were laughing at us for what happened. People died, but hey… not a big deal - in their opinion. They were joking about doing something similar and simulated gun sounds. Like wtf?
So at some point in a lesson we heard noises very similar to gun
sounds. That close after the main event some girls freaked the fuck out
of there, screaming. The teacher and boys followed, other classes joined
and it was a mass panic. I remember how I went into a guy from the
other school, he was laughing and was amused by all the people running
So, police arrived and we all were in their gym waiting for the officer to clear things out, people were crying and panic was still there. The reason for the noise was a construction worker and his hammer working on something. False alarm. School was off for that day.
From that day on our class got very quiet and concentrated when
someone knocked on the door. The shooting was pretty brutal and he also
shot through doors, if you’re interested in details, look it up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnenden_school_shooting
The next room he would enter would be ours. Thank god someone called the cops that early - otherwise I’m not sure if I would be still alive.“
User AirHokie: “I stayed for the week of cancelled classes after the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech. Lost a couple friends and an instructor that had become a good mentor and the only reason I was safer than they were was because I’d already stopped going to class. The place was a ghost town, minus the news reporters that acted like vultures every time I walked outside wearing anything maroon or orange.
I ended up tossing every piece of Hokie gear I had in a dumpster and hopping on a plane to Ireland, using the money I’d saved for school to instead travel for 3 years. I told no one except my brother.
At first it was rough - lots of drinking (before the shootings too). And every time I made the mistake of telling someone I was from Virginia, or even a former student at an American university, it was all they wanted to talk about. But once I (and my new friends) got out of Europe and the news cycle rolled on, this became less of an issue.
I returned to Virginia Tech in 2010 with a new set of problems, but one thing I remembered was how the time felt like a giant reset button. Everyone I knew that was there during the shootings was gone and the campus had very few reminders aside from the designated memorial.
Even today, with my regular involvement with Blacksburg and Virginia Tech, most either don’t know what really happened or don’t believe I was there. The only time shit gets weird is when there’s a security warning on campus (like the emails that got blasted to a bunch of schools last month).”
User GetTheHelOut: “I know I’m late to the party but fuck it I made an account just for this so here goes:
I was a freshman during the UCSB/Isla Vista shooting. It happened on a
friday evening, so most of my floormates were out in the floor lounge
watching TV. I was on my way down to a brother’s pre-graduation party
when I ran into a friend who said shots had been heard and the building
was on lockdown. Overall not many people knew it was very serious at the
time, we had gotten plenty of alerts like this from campus security
before because plenty of sketchy stuff goes down in IV. Once the
lockdown happened we knew it was the real deal.
I didn’t know the names of the dead until the next day. The school
held a candlight vigil where thousands and thousands of people
participated – it was honestly the most beautiful and heartbreaking
experience I’ve ever participated in. We walked from Storke Plaza on
campus to a park in Isla Vista, where friends and family members had an
opportunity to speak about their memories of our fallen students. I
assumed that nobody I knew would be among the dead but I was wrong.
Two of my friends, Veronika and Katie, had been walking to get coffee
and food, when they were gunned down. I know the place where they died.
I walk or skate by it every day on my way to campus.
The experience changed me. I dropped out of school for almost two
years and am just now coming back. I no longer have the same naivete
about mortality or life that I once did.
But that’s not the worst part for me. The terrible part about a
school shooting is that they are forgotten so quickly. I’m supposed to
be a senior now; the only people who were in Isla Vista for the massacre
are my class. A full 75%+ of students weren’t there for it, and the
names and faces of my friends who died, as well as the four other
victims, are almost erased.
I’m sorry for getting so emotional and for the terrible formatting (posting from mobile), but I needed to get all that off of my chest. Thank you for letting me do so.”
User BrokefaceHD: “Thurston High School shooting in 1998. I was a freshman and went to Springfield High School, Faith Kinkel was my teacher at the time. This was the “big shooting” that happened before Columbine. Kip Kinkel shot and killed his parents and then drove their van to Thurston High and opened fire in the cafeteria the next day.
The news spread fast across town to our school that morning, but it
took awhile for all of the details to start coming in. Kids started
being pulled from class as parents were hearing the news. There was an
announcement around the second or third class of the day that there had
been a tragedy at Thurston High and if we needed to leave that we please
checkout through the office. Then it came, fourth period, the principal
announced that Bill and Faith Kinkel had been found murdered in their
home. Complete breakdown. Teachers stopped teaching, most were in the
hallways holding each other and crying. Students just kind of left or
wandered the school or went to common areas to find out what others
My friend and I were in a computer typing class together that period, but we were also in Faith Kinkel’s Spanish class at the end of the day as well. There was no way we were going to wait around or step foot in that classroom. We grabbed our bags and checked out. We walked home together, mostly in silence, we both carried disc-men at the time and both tuned out the world. My parents waited for us, I had called from the office to let them know to expect us. My dad bought us pizza and we played video games, but anytime I started to feel a little better or momentarily forget the day, I would feel absolute guilt and sadness.
The whole thing was surreal. Luckily it was a three day weekend and I had plans to visit a friend in Bend (about 3 hours away). It was all over the news, but the distance of the weekend helped to escape it a bit. Returning to Springfield was emotional. I had my mom drive us by Thurston High, I wanted to see the memorial wall, it was heartbreaking, news vans still lingered.
When it came time to go back to school we were told we had access to counseling and of course anyone that was a student of Faith’s was not required to go to class. I went though, they had counsellors and we all sat and talked about her class and her. A lot of tears, lots of memories, we also had a handful of laughs remembering her. Faith Kinkel taught Spanish at Springfield High, and she was a great teacher (and I’m not just saying that because of what happened, I have had plenty of terrible teachers, she wasn’t one of them). She actually talked about Kip a lot in her class and would tell stories about their family vacation. She would share family pictures and show us different things they had purchased in Mexico. The school year luckily ended a few weeks later.
When the UCC shooting happened last year I was still living an hour from Roseburg in Eugene. It broke me for about a week, everything I had felt 17 years ago came right back. It’s always tragic and a bit terrifying when you hear about shootings and the like, but when it’s right in your backyard or it directly affects your life it’s hard to cope.“
User EricCornwell: “I was 12 at Westside Middle School in 1998. The direct changes to the school were that they closed off the areas where the shooting happened for a while, until they replaced the sidewalks and patched up the damage. Due to the media coverage, we all knew what the scene looked like. Many people handled the situation in very different ways. The majority carried on as usual, but with a twist. I don’t have citations to back it up, but our graduating class had more pregnancies and drug addictions among the actual graduates than any class before or after (we were handled pretty carefully in retrospect). Personally, I went weird and would alternate between “goth” kid and tie-dye, which got me a disturbing amount of negative attention, being in the semi-deep-South.”
User knightfall: “I went to Columbine and was a sophomore during the shooting. We went to our rival school (Chatfield) to finish the year. We had classes, but a lot of them didn’t really do anything. Math was the only class that really tried to get back to normal. We also had tons of assemblies when random celebrities would show up.
The following year we returned to Columbine, I remember a lot of parents built a human wall around the school to keep reporters out. Things returned to normal fairly quickly the next year. It was always weird with the school being remodeled though. Area where library used to be was gone.
Getting your stuff back was a huge problem though. They kept our cars and other belongings for several months. This created a lot of issues as most high school students don’t have multiple cars to get to school. Also, a lot of us left our backpacks when we finally got out of the school. I always had my wallet in there, so I didn’t have any credit cards, ids, etc. Also, the sprinklers came on after so when I did finally get my stuff back is was moldy and mostly ruined. I don’t mean for this to sound whiny that I lost some belongings while others were paralyzed or even dead. Just something I never would have thought about had it not happened.
Edit: I seem to be getting a lot of the same questions so I’ll do my best to address them here.
Credit Card:. Debit card or ATM card would probably have been a better term for most. I did have a credit card from my parents as they were teaching me credit. I paid the balance not them. I was in my twenties before I realized how credit card companies made money. I was taught to pay the balance off every month to avoid interest and I assumed everyone did that.
Did I know the shooters: I was not friends
with either of them. I
knew Dylan a little bit growing up, but did not really talk to him in
high school. If I remember correctly, Eric worked at a pizza place
(Blackjack?) near the school. They were both older than me and hung out
with a different crowd than I did.“