Kalashnikov

Austin police prepare to enter Calhoun Hall on the South Mall Tuesday morning after a gunman opened fire near the Littlefield fountain and later fatally shot himself on the sixth floor of the Perry-Castañeda Library. Austin Police Department and SWAT officers suspected an additional gunman was in Calhoun Hall but quickly determined the shooter acted alone.

Photo Credit: Tamir Kalifa | Daily Texan Staff

Four years ago, at 8:10 a.m. on Sept. 28, a 19-year old mathematics sophomore began firing an AK-47 near Littlefield Fountain. With the police and university officials soon in his pursuit, the student moved to the Perry-Castañeda Library until he eventually turned the gun on himself. Though the PCL shooting occurred before many of us came to campus, most know of the sad occasion. In its remembrance, the Forum page has dedicated some space for students and professors to reflect on the day’s happenings. 

At the same time, this Forum issue has left some space to discuss a current matter plaguing students in the hope that even in times of tragedy, we remember the importance of looking forward and finding purpose in the tiny details, and sometimes trivial matters, of day-to-day life. 

Malik is a Plan II, business honors and finance junior from Austin.

 

 

Police officers walk past the east side of the Perry-Castañeda LIbrary while responding to the campus shooting on September 28th, 2010. In response to the incident, UT officials have implemented changes regarding police response to emergencies on campus. (Daily Texan file photo)

Photo Credit: Erika Rich | Daily Texan Staff

On Tuesday morning, a UT student fired several rounds from an AK-47 while on campus. He later died by suicide in a campus library when police tried to apprehend him.

Below is a copy of the paper, articles, slideshows and videos from The Daily Texan staffers, as well as viewer submitted pictures and videos on one page for easy viewing. Each slideshow's and video's original related article can be found in the link above each presentation.

 

 


 

 

 

FBI investigates case, shooter's background - by Collin Eaton


UT student kills self after firing AK-47 on 21st Street - by Nolan Hicks


Witnesses recount school lockdown- by Aziza Musa

Business freshman Trevor Egan looks out of Jester Center at the line of police in front of the PCL.


Gunman on Campus - by Pierre Bertrand, Courtney Griffin and Fanny Trang


One suspected shooter dead at UT campus library, no one else injured - by Nolan Hicks and Aziza Musa

View the full slideshow


Rebel fighters trample on a head of a statue of Moammar Gadhafi inside the main compound in Bab al-Aziziya in Tripoli, Libya.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

TRIPOLI, Libya — Hundreds of Libyan rebels stormed Moammar Gadhafi’s compound Tuesday, charging wildly through the symbolic heart of the crumbling regime as they killed loyalist troops, looted armories and knocked the head off a statue of the besieged dictator. But they found no sign of the man himself.

The storming of Bab al-Aziziya, long the nexus of Gadhafi’s power, marked the effective collapse of his 42-year-old regime. But with Gadhafi and his powerful sons still unaccounted for — and gunbattles flaring across the nervous city — the fighters cannot declare victory.

The rebel force entered the compound after fighting for five hours with Gadhafi loyalists outside, using mortars, heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft guns. They killed some of those who defended the compound and hauled off thousands of rifles, crates of weapons and trucks with guns mounted on the back in a frenzy of looting.

“We’re looking for Gadhafi now. We have to find him now,” said Sohaib Nefati, a rebel sitting against a wall with a Kalashnikov rifle.

Abdel-Aziz Shafiya, a 19-year-old rebel dressed in camouflage with a rocket-propelled grenade slung over one shoulder and a Kalashnikov over the other, said the rebels believe Gadhafi is inside the compound but hiding underground.

“Wasn’t he the one who called us rats? Now he is the rat underground,” he said.

Shafiya said he felt “an explosion of joy” to be standing inside Gadhafi’s stronghold in the capital after a lightning-quick rebel advance. He had left the rebel-held western city of Misrata just two days earlier.

“I lost friends and relatives and now I can walk into Gadhafi’s house,” Shafiya said, choking up with emotion. “Many of my friends have died and now all of that meant something.”

Tripoli’s new rebel military chief, Abdel-Hakim Belhaj, said at nightfall that a small area of the vast compound was still under the control of regime fighters and heavy shooting was heard across Tripoli toward midnight.

The atmosphere in the compound was a mix of joyful celebration and tension. The air was thick with smoke from the battles, and the boom of mortars and the crackle of gunfire was constant. Rebels chanted “Allahu akbar” or “God is great” and on loudspeakers they cried: “Al-Hamdullilah,” or “Thank God.”

As the fighters stormed in, they captured a guard at the gates and threw him to the ground, slamming rifle butts into his back. A hostile crowd gathered around, punching and kicking him until one rebel stepped in, stood over him and kept the crowd at bay. Inside the walls, a few bodies of Gadhafi fighters — one with a gaping head wound from a gunshot — were sprawled on the ground.

Several young men wrenched the head from a statue of Gadhafi and kicked it around. One lifted it above his head while his jubilant comrades danced and yelled around him. Fighters with long beards hugged each other and flashed the “V’’ for victory sign. Others carried injured rebels to ambulances.

A fighter climbed atop the iconic statue of a huge golden fist clenching a model of an American warplane and shot his machine gun in the air in celebration. The statue stands outside a building that was once Gadhafi’s home, preserved with the pockmarks of an American bombing in 1986 as a symbol of his defiance.

Gadhafi delivered many fiery speeches from the balcony of that house, railing against the West. It was there that he appeared on television six months ago, at the beginning of the uprising, mocking his opponents and saying his supporters would “purify Libya inch by inch, house by house, alley by alley.”

Bab al-Aziziya has since been pummeled many times over by NATO bombings in the air campaign against the regime that began in March.

Thousands of rebels converged on the compound after it was breached, snatching ammunition and arms from depots inside. They found brand-new rifles still in their paper wrappings.

Scuffles broke out among rebels pushing and shoving to get inside two white buildings where the rifles, machine guns and handguns are stored. They came out drenched in sweat from the struggles.

One fighter gleefully blasted rocket-propelled grenades over the compound’s eastern wall, with little idea about what was happening on the other side.

Ali Sameer, a Tripoli resident, stood with three brand-new rifles resting on his legs.

“They are for my friends. I don’t even know how to fight,” he said.

The rebels carted out boxes of the weapons and ammunition, and some drove off with trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns on the back.

One drove out with a golf cart. Another walked out with a fan. Others were busy ripping down posters of Gadhafi.

Near Gadhafi’s old home with the statue outside, the body of a dead regime loyalist lay inside a round building with glass windows shot out. The body was partly covered by a blanket, the head sticking out with a gaping gunshot wound.

A large tent nearby was on fire.

Gadhafi has a famous penchant for Bedouin-style tents, meant to symbolize his roots as a simple desert dweller. He received guests in the tents inside Bab al-Aziziya.

The storming of the compound was a new high for the rebels in what has been an emotional roller coaster since they moved into Tripoli on Sunday night. It began with euphoria and claims that they had taken over most of the city with little resistance. The first night they partied in Green Square, a major symbol of the regime where Gadhafi supporters had held almost nightly rallies throughout the uprising. And it seemed Gadhafi rule was teetering on the brink of collapse.

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, there was a shocking setback. The rebels had claimed that they arrested Gadhafi’s son and heir apparent, Seif al-Islam. It was confirmed by the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands, which has charged him and his father with crimes against humanity.

But inexplicably, Seif al-Islam showed up at the hotel where foreign journalists are staying under the close watch of regime minders in early morning hours of Tuesday. He giddily took reporters on an eerie drive in the middle of the night to see hundreds of pro-regime gunmen around Bab al-Aziziya and at least a hundred more lined up outside, where guns were being handed out to volunteers.

The rebels waited hours to explain, saying word of his capture had come from secondhand reports from some rebels that were never confirmed and had been leaked to journalists. But in an indication that the announcement of his arrest might have been a ruse calculated to demoralize the regime, Mahmoud Jibril, head of the rebels’ acting Cabinet, said the reports had some political and military benefits.

“About 30 officers and soldiers surrendered when they heard the news, which helped us take over Bab al-Aziziya swiftly,” he said. “And 11 countries recognized the (rebels’) National Transitional Council after receiving news of his arrest.”

By Tuesday morning, it looked like the capital might descend into bloody urban warfare. There was sporadic gunfire in many parts. The rebels were in control of parts of the city, though it was not clear how extensive their control really was. Then the fighting took focus around Gadhafi’s compound.

However, rebels were trying to establish civilian control in the chaotic city, even while fire fights continued.

In a deserted five-star hotel on the city’s beachfront, a group of rebel leaders who had operated underground for the past six months announced that they had formed a 24-member city council and would now be in charge.

Deputy council chief Usama el-Abed el-Abed called on city workers to return their jobs so life could begin to return to normal. However, the founding members had not invited guests, saying the city was still too dangerous for large gatherings.

Gadhafi, meanwhile, has not been heard from since Sunday, when rebels entered Tripoli and he delivered a series of angry and defiant audio messages that were apparently phoned in to state television.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the Russian head of the World Chess Federation who has known Gadhafi for years, said he spoke Tuesday by telephone with Gadhafi, who told him he was “alive and well and still in Tripoli.” The report could not be independently confirmed.

In other parts of the capital, the rebels said they were also in control of state television. They raised their tricolor flag on the top of the building. Rebels claimed they also control the airport.

In Tripoli’s Green Square, hundreds of rebels celebrated the storming of Bab al-Aziziya, dancing and clapping and waving the red, green and black rebel flag and firing celebratory gunfire in the air.

Libya’s former deputy ambassador to the U.N. said he expected the entire country would be in rebel hands within 72 hours. Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi, who with other diplomats has continued to work at the Libyan mission since disavowing Gadhafi in February, said Tuesday he expects Libya will be “totally liberated.”

In the de facto rebel capital of Benghazi, hundreds of miles east of Tripoli, the news of the Bab al-Aziziya storming was greeted with celebratory gunfire and firecrackers. Men drove around waving rebel flags.

Wael Abu Khris, a shipping agent turned rebel fighter from Tripoli, was walking around Gadhafi’s compound after the battle, carrying his Kalashnikov.

“I feel great satisfaction. We are at last free of this dictator,” he said. “Libya is free at last. No more Gadhafi!”

Printed on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 as: Rebels storm compound, seek Gadhafi.

News Briefly

The Daily Texan won “Best of Show” at a national college journalism conference Sunday for its coverage of the Sept. 28 campus shooting, when UT mathematics sophomore Colton Tooley fired rounds of his AK-47 into the air and ground before taking his own life.

The Associated Collegiate Press held its annual college media convention in Louisville, Ky., where it staged a competition for all news coverage outlets, including 10 newspaper categories.

The Texan competed in the four-year daily broadsheet newspaper category with nine other college newspapers, including The Daily Iowan, the University of California, Los Angeles’s The Daily Bruin and the University of North Carolina’s The Daily Tar Heel. The Texan’s coverage featured photos that appeared in other publications throughout the country and timeline graphics and comprehensive news stories, including a profile of Tooley and reaction by students on campus.

Daily Texan reporter Audrey White also won honorable mention in the diversity category.

The Associated Collegiate Press, based in Minneapolis, is the nation’s largest and oldest national membership association for college student media.
 

Austin police prepare to enter Calhoun Hall on the South Mall Tuesday morning after a gunman opened fire near the Littlefield fountain and later fatally shot himself on the sixth floor of the Perry-Castañeda Library. Austin Police Department and SWAT officers suspected an additional gunman was in Calhoun Hall but quickly determined the shooter acted alone.

Photo Credit: Tamir Kalifa | Daily Texan Staff

The UT campus was on lockdown for nearly four hours Tuesday because of a shooting incident that ended when the gunman, armed with an AK-47 rifle, took his own life after unleashing a barrage of bullets and being cornered by police on the sixth floor of the Perry-Castañeda Library.

Campus administrators identified the gunman as 19-year-old mathematics sophomore Colton Tooley.

A half-dozen law enforcement agencies, including the Austin Police Department, University of Texas Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Austin Independent School District Police Department, responded to the shooting and its aftermath.

Officials said no students were hurt in the shooting, although a couple of students were mildly injured during the evacuation process.

“I am grateful to our campus community for the way it responded to the emergency that took place at the Perry-Castañeda Library [Tuesday] morning,” UT President William Powers Jr. said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon. “I extend my sympathy to the family, friends and classmates of the young student who took his life.”

The lockdown was lifted at 12:15 p.m. The University was then closed and nonessential personnel were released for the remainder of Tuesday. UT shuttles routes ran, but only in the outbound direction so students and staff could get home, said UT spokeswoman Rhonda Weldon.

The incident began just after 8 a.m. as Tooley walked from 21st Street near Guadalupe Street, heading deeper into campus wearing a dark suit, ski mask and carrying an AK-47 in his hand.

The University sent the first emergency text messages warning of an armed man on campus at 8:23 a.m. The message was quickly followed by a warning from UT officials for students and staff to find shelter and lock all doors.

“He had a black mask and he was walking down the street,” said Ruben Cordoba, a maintenance worker at Dobie Center who was working on the plaza level of the dormitory, which is three stories above 21st Street. “I thought he was joking because he had an AK-47 in his hand ... I heard three shots to the left and three shots to the right.”

Other eyewitnesses said they heard as many as 10 shots, and said they thought he was shooting at the University Catholic Church and the South Mall. After shooting, he continued to run toward the PCL.

Lawrence Peart, an international relations junior, was locking up his bike at the library when he heard the first gun shots. He said a taxi came down the street honking its horn to warn the students, but he didn’t think much of it until he saw students running.

“So I start advancing toward the entrance and a man — pretty tall in a black business suit, ski mask and an AK-47 — runs in front of me, so I froze,” Peart said. “He was running down the 21st Street along that brick wall that’s beside the PCL and he glances over at me. He looked at me in the eyes then waved his arm as if to say, ‘Don’t come in here. Go away.’”

Officers chased Tooley off the street and into the library, said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. Once inside, Tooley ran to the stairwell and climbed the stairs to the sixth floor, where he took his own life at 8:50 a.m., Acevedo said.

“Almost immediately, members of [APD] and [UTPD] ended up on campus, spotted the suspect and gave chase to that suspect,” Acevedo said. “I want to commend the students of the University of Texas that led the way to the suspect — that as our officers ran and tried to find and chase after him, the students kept pointing [the officers] in the right direction.”

 

Authorities held a press conference on the UT shooting at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, tactical response teams from APD and DPS searched surrounding buildings for a rumored second suspect. However, officials ruled out any such possibility and said that reports of a second suspect resulted from conflicting descriptions of the shooter.

UTPD Chief Robert Dahlstrom and Acevedo credited joint exercises between both agencies for the quick response and lack of fatalities.

“There’s no doubt that the training paid off in this situation and prevented a much more tragic situation than what we had happen this morning,” Dahlstrom said.

— Additional reporting by Gerald Rich