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August 25, 2012

Despite shooting, ISU students feel safe

TERRE HAUTE — On campus, Friday morning’s shooting was attributed to a bad mix of booze and guns, not the community’s safety as a whole.

Friday afternoon, some Indiana State University students hadn’t even heard about the shooting near the Ballyhoo Tavern which left one man dead, two wounded and a fellow student in police custody.

Lauren Mosteller, an ISU freshman recently graduated from North Putnam High School, reported being unaware of the event which occurred about 3 a.m. that morning. Walking to class that afternoon, she said campus safety wasn’t among the things she considered when selecting the school.

“I wouldn’t want to walk along at night,” she said, noting that’s not a particularly uncommon concern for women anywhere.

Bill Mercier, ISU police chief, said the alleged shooter, William Mallory, 21, was suspended from the university in addition to facing criminal charges. According to ISU personnel, Mallory was a sophomore majoring in automotive engineering technology.

“We do not allow weapons on campus,” Mercier said, explaining that rule to be without exception, and to include students serving in the military or criminal justice programs. A student with a valid permit to carry firearms will be suspended for possession of weapons on campus, while students without permits will simply be arrested and handed over to the legal system, he said.

In a typical year, the university might deal with two or three weapons violations, he said, noting they’re pretty rare. Some increase in campus patrols is scheduled for the weekend, mostly to make people feel safe, he said.

“We don’t anticipate any long-term changes,” he said, pointing out none of the victims were ISU students and Mallory did not live on campus.

Kyle McCoy, 22, a senior majoring in information technology, said he was aware of the shooting, but not overly concerned. The issue came down to a bad mix of guns, alcohol and arguments, he said.

“I personally think it was just a random act,” he said. “I don’t think it had anything to do with security.”

ISU and Terre Haute are as safe a place to be as any, the Michigan City native said.

Shavawn Mathis, an ISU senior from Indianapolis, likewise said the issue wasn’t indicative of the community as a whole.

“It’s really tragic. I don’t understand why people are shooting people,” she said that afternoon. “I think it’s a safe campus overall. I was actually going to go to the Bally last night but now I’m glad I didn’t.”

Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or brian.boyce@tribstar.com.

 

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