Shooter invades UT, CHS graduates safe

By Mary Whitfill

Features Editor

Police in Austin are investigating a shooting on the University of Texas campus in the Perry-Castaneda Library earlier

The shooter was identified as 19-year-old UT math major Colton Tooley, pictured above. Photo released by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

today. 

“At 8:30 am I got a text from the UT alert system, informing us that there was an ‘armed shooter’ in the PCL,” 2010 CHS graduate and UT freshman Satvika Ananth said. “It was terrifying, but luckily the campus has a spectacular communication system.”

Reports say a man fired shots from the sixth floor of the library before turning the gun on himself and firing a fatal shot. Reports are there were no UT students or staff injured.

“It is impossible to know what goes through an assassin’s head during an event like this, but we are all so lucky that the only person harmed during this whole ordeal was the gunman,” 2007 CHS graduate and member of the UT student government Matt Portillo said.

Due to the differentiating accounts of both the man’s appearance and weapon he was carrying, campus police were sent searching for a second suspect across campus. The Austin American-Statesmen reports the man was wearing a ski mask and was armed with an automatic weapon. The campus TechAlert! system sent messages to each student, urging them to stay indoors and informing the students they were in lockdown.

“I live in an apartment about four blocks west of campus and I was still able to hear the sirens,” Portillo said.

The north side of the campus has been relieved from lockdown and police are informing students of where they should and should not go.

“If it had to happen, I am glad it happened this early in the morning,” 2010 CHS graduate and UT freshman Ellen Cameron said. “Most people try really hard to not have 8:30 classes, so most people were still safe in their dorm rooms. In my own dorm, only three people were out of the building when the initial sirens went off.”

UT was the site of a brutal shooting in 1966, where 14 students were killed by student Charles Whitman.

“I texted my family and said ‘I love you’ because even though I didn’t know what was going to happen – you never know,” Cameron said.

All classes for the day have been cancelled.

“We are all relieved, thankful and extremely surprised that something like this could happen so close to us,” Portillo said.