Update: UNR Shootings

I received the following email in my inbox today explaining how the shootings on/near UNR campus are anomalies, not associated with any UNR faculty/staff/students and that I should feel safe on campus. The first shooting involved a wanted, wounded, home-invader running through campus. With nothing to lose, he surely could have posed a danger to the campus. And telling me the second shooting was accidental… well I’m not comforted by the fact that someone nearby me cannot maintain muzzle and trigger control. My range master always says that if we point our guns at him, he will point his right back. But if he were on campus and if that man had pointed that gun “accidentally” at someone other than himself, no one would have (legally) had anything to point right back. I am happy to have additional information about the shootings, but I still believe the problem of campus safety is being ignored. We need concealed carry on campus! Anyhoo… Here’s the text of the email:

This is to update you about investigations into recent, concerning incidents which prompted alerts being sent to faculty, staff and students through the University’s Emergency Messaging System on Friday and Saturday. Evidence points to the conclusion that the Friday incident involved two shootings at one off-campus location while the Saturday incident occurred on campus and neither of these events involved any students, faculty or staff. Other than the location, these incidents have no connection to the University.

As a faculty member, staff member or student, it is important that you be apprised of these matters and what the investigations point to as having allegedly taken place.

Last Friday morning, two suspects who had burglarized a home in a residential neighborhood located east of campus, but not adjacent to campus, were shot by the homeowner. The first shooting occurred at that home in the early morning, and the individual who had been shot came through campus on foot and collapsed in the street near the intersection of North Virginia and Artemesia Streets. The second shooting occurred mid-day at that same home and, although streets including Evans Avenue were closed for a period of time, there was no connection to campus.

An incident Saturday night also did not involve anyone from the University community, although the individual shot was discovered on the campus near Ninth Street and the Orr Ditch, which runs parallel to the street. The individual shot has recanted his initial story and has admitted to having accidentally shot himself.

These incidents are isolated and, as noted, have no connection to the University other than the location. At this point, suspects have been identified. The incidents do, however, provide the opportunity for the University to reaffirm its commitment to continually work to enhance campus safety measures. Out of an abundance of caution, University Police Services has increased the number of patrol officers on campus. With the opening of residence halls on Thursday, the Campus Escort Service will resume its service on Thursday, August 25, at 7:00 p.m.

An complete overview of our campus safety program can be found on the UNR Police Services webpage (www.unr.edu/police) , however I would like to highlight just a few key aspects of this program here:

  • Our Emergency Messaging System informs subscribers of emergency situations or campus closures by text and/or email messages. All faculty, staff and students should sign up for the Emergency Messaging System at www.unr.edu/alerts.
  • University Police Services is a fully functional law enforcement agency and operates 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year. Our security presence is further expanded with the support of student cadets and reserve officers.
  • The Campus Escort Service is available during the fall and spring semesters and provides free transportation via van for faculty, staff and students to locations on or within a two-mile radius of the main Reno campus. Walking escorts are available during high-volume hours to individuals wishing to be accompanied. Hours of operation are included in the attached, and students, faculty and staff should program the Campus Escort Service phone number – 775-742-6808 – into their phones.
  • Residence halls are locked and access is controlled. Round-the-clock information and security desk operations are established at each residence hall.
  • The University’s network of emergency “blue light” phones has been significantly expanded in the last two years, with a total of 107 phones in the University’s parking garages, across the main campus in Reno and in the Redfield Campus parking lot. Each phone allows quick access to “911” emergency assistance with the push of a button.
  • A number of free training opportunities are available, including self-defense and personal-safety training. For more information visit www.unr.edu/police.

A significant incident often raises the question of crime overall. The experience of the last few days is unusual. Typically, campus crimes are non-violent crimes, such as thefts or alcohol-related crime. The University is subject to the Cleary Act, the federal law that requires that any major or violent crime on University property be widely communicated to the campus community. We fully comply with this act.

University Police Services will host upcoming informational sessions to allow those who wish to discuss these matters to have that opportunity:

  • Tuesday August 23, Wednesday August 24 and Friday August 26 at the entrance to the ASUN Bookstore at the Joe Crowley Student Union from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Thursday August 25 at the “Dorm Storm” event in front of Nye and Canada Hall from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Thursday August 25 at new student orientation, room 422 of the Joe Crowley Student Union at 2:00 p.m.

In many ways the University is a city within a city, and no one corner of any city is entirely without crime. It is important to remember that safety – whether at home, class, and work or elsewhere – starts with personal choices and practices. Our Safety Tips are noted below.

As always, if you need to report a crime on campus or you observe a suspicious person or situation; contact University Police Services by dialing 334-COPS (2677) or the duty phone at 745-6195. In an emergency situation, call 911.


University Police Services Safety Tips:

  1. Make personal safety your number one priority. Awareness, avoidance and risk reduction are the best ways to avoid being a victim.
  2. Travel in groups of two or more in well-lit, high-traffic areas.
  3. Tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
  4. Carry a whistle or noisemaker. This can remind you to exercise caution and can be used to alert someone if you need help.
  5. Be alert! Look around you; observe who is in the area and make it difficult for anyone to take you by surprise.
  6. If listening to an iPod, keep the volume low so you can hear what is going on around you.
  7. If you exercise at night, do so with a friend and wear bright reflective clothing.
  8. Follow your intuition… trust your feelings.
  9. If you will be studying or working late, plan ahead and make arrangements to get home safely.
  10. ALWAYS lock your doors and windows each time you leave your residence and keep them locked while at home.


Adam Garcia
University of Nevada, Reno
Police Services
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno, NV  89557-0250
(775) 784-4013 PH
(775) 784-1695 FX


1 Comment

  • Drang says:

    “Dear Adam
    “If off-campus events can so easily impact us on campus–i.e., armed, fleeing criminals cutting across campus–then how about offering up some more substantial protective measures? Rape whistles and situational awareness fall into the “talk is cheap” realm; if you can’t provide every woman on campus with a personal armed guard, then let those who are licensed to awfully carry a gun for self-defense, do so!
    “As the saying goes, ‘Gun control is the theory that a woman lying raped and dead in an alley is morally superior to a woman standing over the body of her assailant with a smoking .38 in her hand.'”

    I think I know why the Eastern Michigan University Alumni Association hasn’t invited me for any self-help seminars…

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