It was Monday with Thanksgiving on Friday and I was going to be at KCC until noon for the next three days and then take a four day holiday weekend. KCC was in the holiday mode already. The college basically shut down from Thanksgiving until January when the spring semester started.
We were all looking forward to having four days of family and friends together without having to do intense training and interviews. After the holiday, it would be back to the grind for the M&M projects. The M&M projects and the Rochester College Police Force all went active on January 1.
East Coast was going to have to bust ass to get all the systems in place and activated in between all the holidays.
At Michigan our 15 employees were already on payroll and on site along with the 15 DHS to oversee the installation. I was sure that DHS was going to have them install special cameras in certain areas because they were so eager to be on site so early.
Jason, Dad, Judge Slaughter and Joey along with several clerks were going to Minnesota for two weeks to oversee the installation there after the interviews at Michigan.
It was a working vacation; Jason did not know that I knew they had scheduled a deer hunt with muzzle loaders and a bobcat hunt with center-fire rifles with a hunting service.
Roseanne had come to me with the interview schedules that Jason had set up there. There were some days that Jason was only working afternoons and some day’s mornings, leaving Roseanne and Cindy to interview those days. The list of hunting equipment they needed to take on the fax was a dead giveaway.
That was going on while the first fifteen from Minnesota – the best of all the applicants – were here getting aggressive training. Those fifteen we felt were the best and first choices to be in a supervisory role.
The girls all had lists of things they were going to do assisting the Moms who were the chief chefs. The entire gang had made it known point blank that Jenny was not going to stand for hours cooking.
Jenny’s feet, back and legs were getting multiple massages every day now to ease her discomfort. She swore the boys were already in training. They were moving and kicking so much, she just knew they were going to be born with black and blue bruise marks.
We had just visited the doctor on Friday for another checkup. Dr. Peterson, Susan as she insisted we call her, was very pleased with the blood work, Jenny’s weight and all the tests she had taken. Even though Jenny thought she was gaining too much, Susan insisted she was doing great with carrying twins. We had multiple snapshots from the sonogram to carry back to the family.
Lisa and Sandy (my mom) had been scouring the contents of attics for the last week or so, digging out all the baby things they had stored for years.
Bassinets and cribs, bronzed baby shoes and all kinds of sentimental things were making the rounds almost daily, bringing back precious memories for the folks.
The bassinets and cribs, little rockers and chairs that I never remembered had been sent out to be refinished. A couple of miles down the road were a wood-workers shop that specialized in that kind of work.
I helped Lisa and Mom carry the things to them. There must have been a dozen bib-overalled old gentlemen that worked there; the youngest might have been 65. Gray beards, old corn cob pipes and ball caps were the uniform of the day. One would have thought we had carried them furniture from the Smithsonian by the way they carried on over the things.
From the conversation they had with Lisa, they restored a lot of furniture for her. It was a regular event that every time she went with Jason she went to every antique shop she could find while he was working and always brought back something.
With the morning work finished at KCC by 12:30, I was at the refreshment center having a loaded salad for lunch with my brood, when all the cell phones rang at the same time.
This was not a good thing; it was an emergency call from one of our many sites. Something terrible was going on somewhere that required immediate attention.
I answered the call while the other girls were looking at the accompanying messages.
It was Dan Parker, the director of our site at Warrington Community College. “We have two shooters on campus. We are responding in force,” he said.
“We are on our way, do what you need to do. Keep me informed when you can,” I replied.
All six of us were standing and headed for the door. Lorrie was on the phone to Carson at the airport office, “Get us a plane and pilots to Warrington North Carolina ‘Now’ they have shooters on campus!” she yelled into the phone. We are on our way.
As we headed out, the girls ran to their office to get to get their go bags and laptops. We met Jason and Cindy in the hall, “I’m coming with you,” they both said.
We were at Morton field in record time. One of the leased Lear 55’s was on the terminal building tarmac with the engine away from the steps running and the other was spinning up waiting on us to board.
While we were boarding, the pilot was communicating with the tower. The seat belts were not even fastened when the plane started moving.
Warrington was almost two hours in the Lear 55 with the turbines fully redlined. There was little we could do but be observers on the way. Then we could help sort out the mess when it was over and we were there.
We would be there to support my people who would have to live with the decisions they made and explain it to hundreds of investigators, each looking for someone to blame.
With it just days to Thanksgiving, it was a horrible way to start the holiday. Minutes after we were in the air the story was all over the major news outlets. The girls were busy pulling up the Warrington camera feeds. I instructed them to record everything; who knows how long we would have possession of the masters.
I took one call after another. Marley, with my personal cell number, thought she could get an inside scoop for her parent network. “We are en-route, no comment at the present time,” I responded as I closed the conversation.
Eric called but again I had nothing to tell him other than we were on the way and I would fill him in as soon as I knew something.
“We have agents on the way there; they will know who you are. Just display your JBG badges,” he replied.
We pieced together the camera video. It took a while to get back to the beginning with so many cameras to look at. But at last we had it.
At 1PM a van had parked in a public parking across from the college. When JBG took over security we changed the traffic flow. No longer could the public park directly in front of the college buildings. They had to park in public parking lots and walk across a small park and recreation area to get into the main entrance.
The company that scanned the tag numbers from the tag readers, did not flag the tags when it drove past the security post. That is a 30 second process that completed before the vehicle gets to the security gate.
The two occupants of the van boldly donned bulletproof vests, helmets and other gear including AK47 rifles and ammo packs in broad daylight, before walking towards the main entrance.
One of our better people – Alvin Masters – was manning the security desk and watched as the two geared up. He immediately sounded the alarm and directed two of our patrol cars and all security to the main entrance to intercept the two men.
Warrington College had had a campus shooter the year before JBG contracted the security. The College Board was receptive to any security changes that we recommended. Security was number one, period.
One of those changes was a special lockdown alarm that went over the PA system as well as a special ring sequence on the fire alarm system. All college doors in the complete complex switched to auto-locking, requiring an ID card to open.
Another change was to add a policy that prohibited propping any door open for any reason. We had enough cameras in the halls that several professors had been disciplined for doing just that.
The two shooters had started randomly shooting at students and the building as they got to the park area. The two patrol cars arrived in time to pin the shooters between the locked main entrance and the park area.
One car was driven by Artie Shaw – a former police officer – and the other by Sam McHale – former army. They turned the cars into a defensive position as they stopped and exited the cars. The sirens did as they are supposed to do; draw attention.
The shooters turned their attention to the sirens and officers, filling the cars with bullet holes and busted glass.
The video showed that Sam and Artie both started shooting at the two suspects at about the same time. I could see the shooters reacting to hits on the bulletproof vest.
Even the 40 caliber would not penetrate the vest with the distance between them, but the bullet carried enough energy that it was like getting hit with a baseball. It would get your attention and quick.
Sam changed tactics and began shooting for the guy’s unprotected legs and groin area, with the first shots connecting. The shooter went down to his knees and turned, trying to get away.
The guy trying to turn opened up another lethal unprotected area, the arm pits. Because of mobility and comfort wants, an area under the arms was lightly armored in all but the most expensive vest.
Sam immediately took advantage and emptied the rest of his clip. The camera was situated in a position so that I could see Sam change clips as the shooter fell face down on the concrete.
The other shooter was on his knees but still firing at Artie. From Sam’s position the same weakness was exposed. The shooting ended a few seconds later with number two lying on his side, not moving and bleeding out.
The whole process from the time they drove into the parking lot until they were both dead took fifteen minutes.
We tried our best to see how many students were hit – it was not possible to get a count – but at least three or four for sure.
I had the girls send me still shots captured from the various videos to my laptop. They started with them coming past the security gate, getting set in their gear, the walk to the main entrance and finally the shoot-out.
With Ching Lee’s help – she was the computer video expert – the different pieces of video were put together into one video. By then, we were landing and quickly made our way to the MARR site to pick up a car and race to the campus.
Edit by Alfmeister
proof read by Joe H.