From the Eyes of a Fellow Facebook Stalker
On Sunday morning, I headed out of DeChantel. I had a perfect morning planned; first work out at the Greensburg YCMA and then attend mass at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. However, as soon I set foot outside, my RA, Lauren Shoemaker, prevented me from going any further. She informed me that we were on lockdown and wondered why I didn't get a text or email. Good question, I thought to myself. I mean, my phone wasn't working at the moment, and I hadn't checked my email at 8 AM on a Sunday morning. How exactly was I supposed to know I shouldn't be leaving the dorm? I proceeded to ask Lauren why we were on lockdown, and she explained that a student had a gun off campus and was threatening his housemates with it. Good enough reason for me to head back into my safe haven aka suite.
However, just as I was settling down to eat an apple on my couch, Lauren knocked on my door. As I opened it, I realized how clearly shaken she was and asked her what was wrong.
"We're not in lockdown anymore. The police had to shoot him;" she said. "And I knew him."
I offered her my sincere apologies and continued with the morning I had planned before it was abrubtly interrupted. Nevertheless, the entire time I was walking toward the YMCA, I was weary of each and every car/person who passed me. What if they have a gun? And, if they shoot me, when would anyone find me? This unfortunate incident opened up my eyes to the fact that even attending school at a private, Catholic university in basically the middle of nowhere doesn't guarantee safety.
Upon returning to the dorm, my suitemates and I decided to find out for ourselves about the student shooter/victim, Joseph Briggs. Naturally, Facebook was our first destination, and our most fruitful. We checked out his profile, and ironically, not only was he holding a gun in his profile picture (which someone changed a couple hours later), but he was also majoring in criminal justice. He was a senior, extremely close to graduation. Why would he have wanted to end his life right before he was about to earn his degree? Perhaps he was afraid of entering into the "real wold." Personally, though I am well aware that Briggs was heavily intoxicated during the shootings, I believe he had been planning this even for awhile. After careful examination of his Facebook wall, I realized that for the past couple weeks, he had been messaging people he didn't converse with on a regular basis. "Hey, how's it going? I haven't talked to you in forever!" were the most common wall posts. As an avid Facebooker, I realize that while this is a common wall post for relatively new Facebook members who have basically been excluded from the lives of anyone other than the people they see on a regular basis, this is an extremely odd sight for the wall of a veteran Facebooker. I believe it indicated that he wanted to touch base with all of his old friends and aquaintences before pulling his videogame-like stunt. (As I mention video game, I should also note that he was a member of the "Call of Duty" group - one of the most violent and gruesome of all video games. Need I say more?)
Amazing what a person can infer from a simple Facebook profile, isn't it?