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Deputies and Police awarded for responding to NAS Pensacola mass shooting – WKRG News 5


Pensacola, Fla (WKRG)- A ceremony was held at Marcus Point Baptist Church in Pensacola to honor the six Escambia County deputies and two NAS police officers who took down the gunman in the mass shooting last month. Charles Hogue is an NAS Pensacola watch commander that responded to the shooting and was shot in the leg. He received the Valor Award and Purple Heart on Friday.

“I’m a modest person,” Hogue said. “Awards are something I don’t look for. I just do my job, what I was trained to do, if I could ever do it again I would.”

During the ceremony, Sheriff David Morgan spoke about the heroism of the first responders and says there could have been more deaths if it was not for their quick action.

“To our fellow law enforcement officers and first responders and fire department and ems, to say thank you is a small word because all of this could not have been done without the collective effort of everyone who responded,” Morgan said.

Hogue says he’s recovering from his injury and wants to than God for his strength.

“I’m feeling really good and feeling very hopeful,” Hogue said. “I’m regaining my strength and walking better than before.”



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Counsel calls for charges to be dropped against Wilkinsburg mass shooting suspects


On Friday, counsel for Cheron Shelton and Robert Thomas filed a motion for “extraordinary relief.” In addition to calling for charges to be dropped, they want the death penalty taken off the table, suppression of witness number three and the removal of Allegheny County Assistant District Attorney Lisa Pellegrini.



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Prosecutor’s office receives active shooter training at new location – News – The Daily Jeffersonian


The Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office recently provided an active shooter evaluation for the county prosecutor’s new office on Wheeling Avenue in Cambridge.

Beginning in 2019, the Guernsey County Prosecutor’s Office began a series of “lunch and learn” seminars for staff. The hour-long seminars give the employees an opportunity to learn about topics adjacent to the functions of the office. Last Wednesday’s training focused on active shooters.

The learning lunch stemmed from a suggestion during his office’s annual staff evaluations.

“In 2018, I had staff review the office, rather than the other way around,” Prosecutor Joel Blue said. “I wanted to open myself and my office up for improvement. I also got a lot of great ideas that we were able to implement almost immediately.”

Major Jeremy Wilkinson and Sgt. Keith Rogers of the sheriff’s office discussed the commonalities of recent mass shooting events and which safety techniques have been proven to save lives.

“When we were in grade school, we were taught to hide under our desks,” Wilkinson said. “That response is among the worst.”

In a study of the Virginia Tech shootings, gunshot injuries and fatalities were less in classrooms where the doors were barricaded and the lowest in classrooms where the students fled.

“The victims of a mass shooting are the true ‘first responders,’” Sgt. Rogers said. “They are on scene before anyone else and must make decisions that will save their lives and the lives of others before we arrive.”

For this reason, the sheriff’s office encourages community businesses and offices to engage in an active shooter training. But, training is only part of the program and in order to be effective, an office must develop a response plan.

The sheriff’s office is able to provide such training to the community and during this time, deputies can review the office layout and determine possible risks.

“The prosecutor’s office is a law enforcement agency and LEADS certified, meaning it must be secured at all times,” Wilkinson said. “And because public access must be restricted they have a bit of leg up on safety. But, there are some concerns that we will write up and propose to the commissioners.”



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Drills, whether for nuclear attacks or active shooters, scare kids


Here is a thoughtful, albeit disconcerting, reflection by University of Georgia education professor and frequent Get Schooled contributor Peter Smagorinsky on the impact of lockdowns and active shooter drills in our schools.

By Peter Smagorinsky

I was a schoolboy outside Washington, DC, in the 1950s and 1960s. Every day, at noon, an air raid siren test would shriek across the landscape, testing our readiness to take cover from a nuclear attack by the Russians. I was one of those kids in the grainy black-and-white “duck and cover” films, hiding under my school desk to secure my safety from an atomic bomb blast. Every day at noon, I felt terrified that I’d be blown to pieces. 

My experiences as a boy sound similar to how a teacher or student feels today when going to school. Instead of the Russians and their nukes, the feelings of threat now come from an American armed with weapons of mass murder. 

Mass shootings have changed fundamental aspects of schooling, from the availability of corporate active shooter training to the rules on backpacks and hoodies. The proliferation of sudden, deadly, mass attacks on schools has had an onerous effect on not only school structure, but more pervasively, school climate.

“Mass shootings” are generally defined as events in which a minimum of 3-5 persons (excluding the shooter) are shot in a single incident in a public place at roughly the same time, in an act not committed as part of organized criminal or gang activity, and not associated with political, religious, or nationalist terrorism.

Wikipedia’s mass shootings page, which I assume to represent reasonably well the distribution of shootings across sites, includes events that have their own Wikipedia listing. A separate database is available for school shootings of all kinds, mass or minimal. In 2017, there were  94 total school-based incidents involving gunfire. 

What I found were 37 U.S. mass shootings for 2018 and 2019. My first observation in reflecting on this list is that there are a lot of mass shootings in the U.S. They are well-distributed geographically and across many types of sites. 

Schools account for only 14% of the massacres. I would wager that they get far more than 14% of media and political attention as places subject to such crises.

There are nearly 133,000 K-12 schools in the U.S. One out of every 26,600 schools has been the site of a mass shooting in the last two years. The rest of the schools fear that one is coming soon, and are taking precautions to respond when the shooter bursts through the school doors and opens fire.

I’ve written previously about the fears that teachers have of going to work, and the changes in school architecture designed to minimize a shooter’s opportunities. I take their fears and precautions seriously. The relationships that people have with their school have been shaped by the specter of a heavily-armed shooter entering their building and killing as many people as possible.

Schools are taking precautions both to prevent shootings, and to minimize death and injury should one occur. The National Rifle Association and President Trump hope to arm teachers with guns to discourage shooters and kill them if they show up. Some schools have begun to allow trained staffers to bear arms. 

Some lines of defense sound like satire. Teachers at schools and universities have been provided with hockey pucks, rocks, and mini baseball bats to use on a shooter. One administrator in Pennsylvania has said, “If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance into any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full of students armed with rocks, and they will be stoned” before they can fire off 45-180 rounds per minute with an assault rifle (estimates vary greatly on shooting capacity). 

School security is now a $2.7 billion industry. This security emphasis has made schools unnerving places to be. The fear of a deadly attack has become a form of terror affecting how schools are constructed and conducted.

I recently talked with a North Georgia middle school teacher in a rural part of the state. The school has never had gun violence, but has taken preparations should an active shooter enter the building. The process for responding was imposed from the top down, as is everything else at the school. 

The procedures are deliberately vague so that the shooters themselves can’t learn of the defense strategies, in turn creating uncertainty and confusion in classrooms. Teachers are provided with print materials explaining what to do. These plans must be hidden away to prevent discovery, yet handy enough to be available during a crisis. 

The school has a few faculty trained in treating trauma injuries, and each wing of the school has a bleeding-control kit in the event of a shooting. The language employed for these occasions is that of imminent threat, similar to the language codes that emerged in the wake of the 9-11 attacks.

The school year began with a staff meeting to review protocols for soft and hard lockdowns for any crisis, with peripheral discussions about the specific threat of active shooters. In a soft lockdown, everyone must retreat to a classroom and the door must be locked. 

The teacher I spoke with was in the bathroom during one of the drills and was locked out of her classroom, because all classroom doors were immediately shut and locked, as specified by the rules, until the drill ended.

During soft or hard lockdowns, classrooms remain locked until an announcement concludes the event. No one knows whether they are going through a drill, or whether there’s a real threat. 

In a drill in a school in California, the administration had a janitor simulate an attack without the knowledge of teachers or students. The administration’s plan was to have everyone believe they were experiencing a real attack, producing widespread hysteria and fear, all amplified through the secrecy of the process.

A hard lockdown follows much more strict procedures. In addition to the requirement of a locked door, the lights must be turned off, and everyone must crouch and crowd into a corner of the classroom that is not exposed to a window. No one may talk and thus betray their presence.

The assumption is that all students will behave with nobility and care for their classmates’ safety. This belief has not been supported by their discussions of drill procedures, when the most assertive students said they’d claim the most secure spots as everyone fights to save their own lives. 

The designed vagueness leads to uncertainty and fear for the teachers and students who don’t even know why they are in a lockdown. There is no clear definition of what constitutes a threat or how to communicate during one. The inability to access the school intercom system during the lockdown to provide updates adds ambiguity as well. All anyone in a classroom knows is that someone has announced a lockdown, and they must act as if they and their classmates might die if they don’t follow the rules.

The rural middle school I’m describing began the year with imminent threat procedures, drills, policy briefings, and other preventative measures that occupied instructional time. This time was never recovered, even as the teachers and students remained accountable for what might have been taught and learned. 

And then: nothing. The academic curriculum was launched and the procedural training got lost in the myriad other complications that govern life in school. What remained in the air was the tremendous feeling of insecurity produced by the way in which the school year began. 

When I was a boy, those daily air raid sirens made me constantly fear that I would die from bombs launched from Moscow. That fear lasted well beyond the drill itself, and permeated our lives as Cold War-era kids. If terrorism is about creating both disaster and the fear of more bedlam, then the threat of attack worked as well as Khrushchev could have imagined.

My goal is not to belittle efforts to make schools secure environments. Feeling secure is essential for kids to buy into schoolwork, and schools can be threatening enough for young people without the thought of being killed. 

In much of my writing in this space, I’ve addressed the importance of making schools places where students and teachers feel emotionally safe and supported. That’s hard to achieve when you live in fear of dying at the hands of angry, hopeless, vengeful people prepared to take their own lives along with yours and your classmates’. 

Schools have historically been viewed as sanctuaries, even as they have always been the site of bullying, predatory adults, decrepit conditions, and other threats to individual and group security. They have become just as fragile as any other public place, in part through the ways in which schools prepare to address a mass shooter, and the fear that it engenders. 

Is there a better way? I wish I knew. I do hope that this reflection helps others understand the climate of fear governing the modern-day school. Most attention to school effectiveness follows from technocratic initiatives measured by data, minimizing the emotional response that people have to the modern school environment. 

But what people experience, and how they experience it, is fundamentally emotional and carries forward much more powerfully than a day’s data points. I encourage all educational stakeholders to understand this new climate of school fear and how it affects the lives of those who make up our school communities. 

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About the Author

Maureen Downey


Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.



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Authorities ID man who saved baby during Texas mass shooting


Authorities say they’ve identified a mystery man who was seen on surveillance video saving a baby during last year’s mass shooting at a Walmart in Texas that killed 22 people.

El Paso police say they’ve confirmed that Lazaro Ponce is the man seen in the footage. Ponce tells the El Paso Times that he and his wife were homeless and living at a makeshift camp near the Walmart at the time of the shooting.

Ponce told the newspaper that he helped the baby, a man in a wheelchair and an elderly woman who had been shot. He says he’s now living and working in Memphis, Tennessee.

“Not only did he remove the baby from among the dead bodies — it could have suffocated — he ran out and turned the baby over to emergency services personnel,” El Paso Police Stg. Enrique Carrillo told the El Paso Times.

“He ran back into the store and with a shopping cart went to the towel section and went around treating the wounded and applying pressure,” Carrillo added.

Copyright 2020 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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How active shooter incidents off campus lead to guns on campus


A new study finds that active shooter incidents off campus and politics are key factors that led state legislators to pass laws allowing concealed weapons on college and university campuses between 2004 and 2016.

“We assumed that campus carry legislation might be driven by active shooter incidents in educational contexts,” David R. Johnson, lead author of the research, sociologist and assistant professor of higher education leadership in the College of Education, said. “Our analysis found that bill introduction is associated with active shooter incidents anywhere within a legislator’s state, but not specifically those occurring at schools and universities.”

“The dataset we developed tracked state legislative behaviors related to concealed weapons on campus and captured key factors that may have influenced these activities,” said Liang Zhang, coauthor of the research and professor of higher education at New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. “We found that following a mass shooting, Republican legislatures tend to introduce and sometimes adopt legislation that would specifically allow people to bring concealed weapons onto college campuses, while Democrat-controlled legislatures do not.”

Johnson and Zhang’s academic paper, “Intrastate and interstate influences on the introduction and enactment of campus carry legislation” was published in Educational Researcher, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association that features the field’s leading research. This is believed to be the first empirical analysis of the policy process related to campus carry legislation.

As of 2018, campus carry laws have been enacted in 11 states, 16 states ban concealed weapons and in 23 states the decision to ban or allow guns at higher education institutions is left to university systems or individual schools. The analysis showed that factors unrelated to crime on school grounds led to the introduction and enactment of these bills.

In addition to active shooter incidents, bill introduction is influenced by the percentage of Republicans in state government, conservative citizen political ideology and policy diffusion – the influence of neighboring states’ policies on the issue. The analysis of bill enactment reveals that conservative citizen political ideology and contributions from anti-gun control interest groups are the driving forces behind policy adoption.

“Such legislation is critical,” Johnson said, “because it has implications for student safety and the authority of governing boards to regulate their institutions. Other research suggests that nearly 95% of students and faculty at large public universities are opposed to allowing guns on school grounds. There’s no clear security issue, most stakeholders don’t want guns on campus, and it seems that legislators push it through to please their constituents.”

An active shooter incident could lead policymakers to adopt new or stronger prohibitions against concealed weapons on campus, but the chief legislative emphasis in the past two decades has been to remove prohibitions established in the 1980s and 1990s.

Zhang added that these gun bills and laws are largely unfunded mandates. The legislature doesn’t include funding for the implementation of the new laws, but the schools must install signs, storage lockers and hire more police. The estimates are in the millions for a state higher education system to regulate guns on campus. When considering SB1474 in 2012, the state of Arizona estimated that allowing concealed weapons would introduce $13.3 million in one-time costs and $3.1 million annually for three state universities. The bill ultimately failed.

Johnson and Zhang focused on proposed bills aimed at permitting concealed weapons on campus to explain the policy process related to their introduction and either passage or failure to pass. Their work expands the empirical scope of higher education policy research by considering a social problem that is only indirectly related to student achievement but nevertheless a high priority for some state legislators.

While there are some areas of gun policy that draw bipartisan support, allowing concealed carry in more places is not one of them: 68% of Republicans support increased concealed carry in more places compared to only 26% of Democrats, according to the Pew Research Center. This helps explain why the prevalence of conservative leaning citizens within a state is so influential on the policy process.

In Nevada, the state legislature has three times considered permitting firearms at postsecondary institutions – once in 2011 with a Democratic controlled legislature, once in 2013 with a Democratic controlled legislature and again in 2015 in a Republican controlled legislature. The 2011 and 2013 bills died without consideration. In 2015 AB148 was passed by the Assembly. The Senate never considered the bill.

Johnson teaches graduate courses on policy, finance, governance and organizational theory in higher education in the College of Education.

His interest in this legislation emerged from teaching a graduate course on higher education policy. “Teaching and research on higher education policy largely focus on issues related to access, affordability, and accountability in higher education,” Johnson said. “These are important issues, but legislators across the U.S. have also been focused on issues such as guns, sexual assault, and speech. I started this project to make my teaching and research as relevant as possible.”

Johnson is the author of A Fractured Profession: Commercialism and Conflict in Academic Science in 2017 (Johns Hopkins University Press). His work has also been published in top social science journals such as The Journal of Higher Education, Social Forces, Sociological Science, Public Understanding of Science and Science, Technology, and Human Values.

Johnson and Zhang’s academic article was published this week in Educational Researcher.



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Red flag gun bill passed by Va. Senate likely to ‘prevent mass shootings’ – Fort Hunt Herald


By State Sen. Scott Surovell (36th District):

Monday, Jan. 20., 2020, brought a large firearms rights protest to Capitol Square. Over 20,000 Virginians protested on and off Capitol Grounds. Some arrests were made before the protest due to anarchists discussing shooting during the protests and most counter-protestors stayed away to avoid creating conflict.

State Sen. Scott Surovell (36th District).

I met with about 30 firearms rights supporters including a handful of my constituents in my office. We discussed several bills including our “red flag” bill which was the largest focus. While we agreed to disagree about many matters, we had a very civil discussion and I appreciated their input.

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, the Senate passed Senator George Barker’s “red flag” bill that I helped to negotiate. This bill was probably the most controversial of the four firearm violence prevention bills that was passed, but it is the bill that is most likely to prevent mass shootings.

Some of my environmental bills have also started to move. The Senate Agriculture Committee passed my legislation to prohibiting hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in the Potomac Aquifer which is effective all of Virginia east of Interstate 95. The Potomac Aquifer is the drinking water source for four million Virginians and four years ago, a company purchased 85,000 acres of leases to extract natural gas on the Northern Neck and Middle Penninsula. The bill died on a tie vote two years ago. I am hopeful that it will pass this year.

Also, my bill to prohibit homeowner and condo associations from prohibiting owners from installing electric vehicle chargers passed. I also passed legislation that would require realtors to advise home buyers of the availability of home energy audits when purchasing a home. This means that buyers will be given a possible home energy audit addendum similar to a home inspection addendum. This will encourage parties to make repairs to a home to save energy before it is sold. Wasted energy is America’s cheapest new energy source.

Join Supervisor Dan Storck and other local leaders at the Mount Vernon Town Meeting on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, at Mount Vernon High School (Credit: Office of Supervisor Dan Storck) (Ad).

My legislation to prohibit driving a moving vehicle with a phone in your hand passed the Senate Transportation Committee on a 12-3 vote. It will be in the floor this week for a final vote in the Senate. I am optimistic that it will finally pass this year. The full Senate also passed my legislation to clarify that vehicles cannot use bike lanes to pass other vehicles and to enhance penalties for drivers who seriously injure pedestrians and cyclists while distracted or careless. Car collisions and deaths continue to rise after a 50-year decline. This is further reinforced by the three pedestrian deaths we saw on U.S. 1 in just the first three weeks of the year.

My legislation to prohibit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries from leasing duck blinds on Little Hunting Creek, Dogue Creek, and Great Hunting Creek passed the full Senate. There is no reason people should be hunting birds with shotguns so close to homes.

We passed legislation to expand early voting with no excuse to a full 45-days before the election. I am hopeful that this will significantly expand voter turnout. We will be hearing further voting reforms next week.

On Monday, Jan. 27, this week, I am looking forward to a visit from the eight area high school students who are part of the Puller Institute. My legislation to restrict predatory lending will be hear. We will also be debating minimum wage, new labor protections, marijuana decriminalization, and major energy reform legislation.

It is an honor to serve as your state senator. Please email me at scott@scottsurovell.org if you have any feedback.

What do you think about the bills being passed by the Virginia Senate during this 2020 legislative session? Comment below.

Featured image credit: Virginia Citizens Defense League.



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Attorney demands that jailhouse witness in Wilkinsburg mass shooting be charged for baby’s slaying – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Attorney demands that jailhouse witness in Wilkinsburg mass shooting be charged for baby’s slaying  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



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West Virginia school systems are providing critical mass shooting training to teachers


PHILIPPI, W.Va.- The Barbour County school system gave life-saving training to teachers and staff on Wednesday.

Photo courtesy of stopthebleed.org

The “Stop the Bleed” initiative came out after Sandy Hook school shooting. It is a nationwide program that is designed to teach facility and staff at schools, medical professionals, law enforcement officials and others on how to save someone from bleeding to death during a mass shooting.

The Barbour County Commission purchased, “Stop the Bleed,” kits for every classroom, school bus and building in Barbour County school system.

Rose Hospital Clinical Coordinator, David Strait explained that if someone is going to save the victims, it will not be the first responders, it will be the teachers or other faculty and staff that are on the scene.  

“The average response time to a mass casualty or a shooting event is 14 minutes.  It takes an average of three to five minutes to bleed to death from an arterial wound,” said Strait.

Nearly 300 facility and staff members from Barbour County School were in attendance for this training. Although there were many takeaways, three key points in the training could be the deciding factor between life or death.

The main points include:

How to use your hands to apply pressure to a woundHow to pack a wound to control bleedingHow to correctly apply a tourniquet

After the training was complete, everyone who participated received a national certification that never expires. Those who are wanting to be trained or just want to learn more about the program should click here.



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Hereford alum killed in South Carolina bar mass shooting


A college student who graduated from Hereford High School in Baltimore County died Tuesday after a mass shooting in South Carolina.Garrett Bakhsh, 18, was a freshman who played lacrosse at Coker University. He graduated last year from Hereford High School and was known for being good at lacrosse and always had a smile on his face. The entire student body and staff at Hereford expressed shock and dismay.According to police in Darlington County, South Carolina, a gunman entered Mac’s Lounge in Hartsville and began shooting around 2 a.m. Sunday. Witnesses described the scene as surreal.”I see gunfire coming out of the gun and it’s by the pool table inside by the patio door, and I saw shots being fired, and I’m, like, ‘This is real now,'” an unnamed witness said.Three people were killed, including Bakhsh.John Raduazzo, Bakhsh’s former English teacher and junior varsity lacrosse coach, said Bakhsh was a great athlete and a fun person to be around.”Shock, real hard shock. It didn’t seem real. I just saw him a few months ago,” Raduazzo said. “The class was different with him in it, we had a lot of fun in that senior class … (it was a) small class. Everybody got to know each other real well. (It was) a lot of fun. When he wasn’t there, we knew he wasn’t there.”Bakhsh was majoring in criminal justice with hopes of following in the footsteps of his parents, who are both in Baltimore County law enforcement.University officials released a statement, saying, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of our student, Garrett Bakhsh. Garrett was a freshman, a member of our men’s lacrosse team and a friend to many in our Coker community. The entire Coker campus community joins together in expressing our sympathy to Garrett’s family and our hearts go out to all impacted by this sad news.”Bakhsh’s former varsity lacrosse coaches said his fellow teammates just can’t believe the news.”When you hear something like that, I go, ‘What? He was in that situation?’ It was a shock,” said Steve Turnbaugh, assistant varsity lacrosse and football coach. “There’s a shooting someplace across this country and you sort of read it and it passes over you and you just don’t think it’s going to hit home and, all of a sudden, it hit home.”Police in South Carolina have arrested two suspects in the case.A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses and to start a scholarship fund in Bakhsh’s memory.

PARKTON, Md. —

A college student who graduated from Hereford High School in Baltimore County died Tuesday after a mass shooting in South Carolina.

Garrett Bakhsh, 18, was a freshman who played lacrosse at Coker University. He graduated last year from Hereford High School and was known for being good at lacrosse and always had a smile on his face. The entire student body and staff at Hereford expressed shock and dismay.

According to police in Darlington County, South Carolina, a gunman entered Mac’s Lounge in Hartsville and began shooting around 2 a.m. Sunday. Witnesses described the scene as surreal.

“I see gunfire coming out of the gun and it’s by the pool table inside by the patio door, and I saw shots being fired, and I’m, like, ‘This is real now,'” an unnamed witness said.

Three people were killed, including Bakhsh.

John Raduazzo, Bakhsh’s former English teacher and junior varsity lacrosse coach, said Bakhsh was a great athlete and a fun person to be around.

“Shock, real hard shock. It didn’t seem real. I just saw him a few months ago,” Raduazzo said. “The class was different with him in it, we had a lot of fun in that senior class … (it was a) small class. Everybody got to know each other real well. (It was) a lot of fun. When he wasn’t there, we knew he wasn’t there.”

Bakhsh was majoring in criminal justice with hopes of following in the footsteps of his parents, who are both in Baltimore County law enforcement.

University officials released a statement, saying, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of our student, Garrett Bakhsh. Garrett was a freshman, a member of our men’s lacrosse team and a friend to many in our Coker community. The entire Coker campus community joins together in expressing our sympathy to Garrett’s family and our hearts go out to all impacted by this sad news.”

Bakhsh’s former varsity lacrosse coaches said his fellow teammates just can’t believe the news.

“When you hear something like that, I go, ‘What? He was in that situation?’ It was a shock,” said Steve Turnbaugh, assistant varsity lacrosse and football coach. “There’s a shooting someplace across this country and you sort of read it and it passes over you and you just don’t think it’s going to hit home and, all of a sudden, it hit home.”

Police in South Carolina have arrested two suspects in the case.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses and to start a scholarship fund in Bakhsh’s memory.



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