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UT Shooting: Austin Campus on Lockdown

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on September 28, 2010 11:50 AM

An all too familiar event was reported this morning. The University of Texas at Austin was the scene of a campus shooting this morning, September 28. The UT shooting occurred at the Perry-Castaneda Library at about 8:48 local time, when a gunman opened fire with an automatic weapon before apparently killing himself. The gunman is confirmed dead at this time.

University spokeswoman Rhonda Weldon confirmed for MSNBC that no one else besides the gunman had been hurt in the UT shooting. Eyewitnesses report that the shooter did not seem to be targeting individuals, but was shooting somewhat randomly.

Despite many reports that the UT gunman was wearing a ski mask, some conflicting reports about his appearance have lead officials to search for a second suspect. MSNBC reports the student paper, the Daily Texan was told there is a search for a second suspect, but that he is believed to be unarmed.

As with the shooting nearby the campus of Collin Community College in August, the University of Texas campus went immediately into lockdown and reports were sent to students that classes were canceled for the day. However, the Austinist reports that some of the communications regarding whether the campus was still locked down or open were conflicting. As of this writing, the campus is still reported locked down.

The effect of open or concealed guns on a university campus is a political and philosophical debate, and now one with a real time application. This evening, a speech by John Lott, gun rights activist was to be given at the UT School of Law. Lott is a proponent of concealed carry laws on campuses. A bill to allow concealed weapons on college campuses was passed by the Texas senate in 2009. Lott's speech has been cancelled.

The Associated Press reminds us that the now legendary "clock tower shooting" took place on the University of Texas at Austin campus in 1966, when gunman Charles Whitman climbed to the 28th floor of the clock tower and shot 16 people and wounded dozens more before being killed himself.

Per the Austinist, the campus hotline for information is: 866-657-9400.

Update: the Austinist reports the all-clear has been given.

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