Illinois students obtained shooting news in variety of ways

Jessica Sabbah

Jessica Sabbah
Northern Illinois University Star

DEKALB, Ill. (U-WIRE) – As shots were fired Feb. 14 at Northern Illinois University, students who were on campus found out about the threat firsthand.

Kristin McCafferty, a junior psychology major, was walking out of the Psychology / Computer Science Building when it happened.

“I saw everyone sprinting and screaming and I saw two bloody people sprinting and screaming to ‘Get away; there was a shooting in Cole Hall,'” McCafferty said. “And there was a million police headed to Cole Hall.”

Erin Rodino, sophomore physical therapy major, was also on campus when it happened.

“I saw a girl running with no shoes on and she was freaking out,” Rodino said. “I guess she was in Cole Hall. She was with three other girls looking for the police.”

Another student, Cindy Rodriguez, junior business administration, was coming from the Art Building when she saw about 50 people running away from the Holmes Student Center.

“About five minutes later, I saw this kid running with a bunch of other kids with him who said he got hit … in the back of the head,” Rodriguez said.

Two students, Jodi Furnald, a textiles, apparel and merchandising major, and Amanda Felber, a media studies communication major, were coming out of Wirtz Hall when shots were fired and was instructed to head to the University Bookstore in the Holmes Student Center.

They heard shots and bangs, and saw a group of people running toward them. They started running with the crowd.

Jalesa Haggard, freshman criminal justice major, also heard by word-of-mouth about the shooting on campus.

“When I came over here, everyone ran out and was saying someone came in Cole [Hall] shooting with a shotgun or something,” Haggard said. “They said two people got shot — a teacher and a teacher’s assistant.”

Others were unsure of how serious the shooting actually was.

“I just saw a bunch of people running toward us and heard some shots,” said Brad Fox, junior hospitality administration major. “I didn’t know how serious it was until people were running behind me and screaming. I was confused and then I freaked out when I realized what was going on.”

Police taped off the area in front of Cole Hall and near Neptune Central. Students and faculty stood around to find out what was going on.

Other students were huddled by the Holmes Student Center and on Lucinda Avenue.

Brian Hemphill, vice president for Student Affairs, arrived and instructed onlookers to go home and back to the halls.

Campus was locked down until it was clear that people could leave the buildings if they chose to do so.

Some wounded were being treated at the University Bookstore in the Holmes Student Center, while other onlookers were instructed to wait in the lower level of the bookstore until they were given the clear.

Employees offered people waiting snacks and refreshments. Some sat in silence, while others talked.

Many students were unable to contact their loved ones initially because of clogged cell-phone lines or lack of reception inside the buildings.

Employees offered their telephones to anyone who needed to contact friends or relatives.