Can community colleges control violence?

New River Community College, which is located near Virginia Tech, the site of mass killing in 2007, remains closed today after a shooting Friday that wounded two women at a branch campus in a shopping mall. Neil Allen MacInnis, an 18-year-old student at the college,  has been charged with wounding Taylor Sharpe, a part-time college employee, and Kristina Bousserghine, a first-year student. Both victims are in stable condition.

Neil MacInnis

Students say the gunmen tried to lure them out of hiding by pretending to be the police, reports the Roanoke Times.

Clara Keller of Blacksburg was working in a computer lab when she heard a gunshot, a woman screaming and then more gunshots. She hid beneath a desk with four classmates.

“I heard him go into a classroom, and then four more shots,” she said.

Then, another scream.

“He came into our room,” Keller said. “He said, ‘I can hear you. I know you’re in here. Come out.’ I was thinking, ‘He’s going to come looking for us.’ ”

. . . The shooter called out “Help, help!” as he walked, Keller said, as if to lure people out of hiding. At another point, he yelled, “It’s the police!”

“The guy’s a terrible actor,” Keller said. “I knew it was just a matter of holding still as long as possible until the real police got there.”

About five minutes after the shooting started, MacInnis surrendered to an off-duty security guard and two police officers.

A poster who called himself Neil MacInnis wrote  about using a shotgun minutes before the shooting, writing “Anyways this is not a highscores game but actually a lesson (that’s why I’m at school).” He also linked to his e-portfolio, which says he’s a computer graphics and web design major who works part-time at Old Navy and has a brown tabby cat named  Mowww.

Community colleges “may face particular challenges in preventing” tragedies, writes Scott Jaschik on Inside Higher Ed.

Many colleges have opened branch campuses that rely on the facility’s security force rather than campus police.

Community college counselors have large caseloads and many responsibilities. Seven in 10 community colleges now have threat assessment teams, according to a survey by the American College Counseling Association’s Community College Task Force.

Student cleared in Lone Star College shooting

Charges have been dropped against Carlton Berry, 22, who was accused of shooting two people at Lone Star College in Houston. Another student, Trey Foster, has been charged with the shooting.

Berry wants an apology from Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia.

“All I know is, I’m a good person. I don’t run in gangs, I’m not a gang member,” Berry said Tuesday at a news conference in front of the New Black Panthers headquarters. “I go to school to better my future, and that’s what I intend to do from now on.

Berry said he was walking with Foster, a friend since high school, when he began arguing with Jody Neal, 25, who’s in a GED program on campus. Foster allegedly fired 10 shots, wounding Neal, Berry and a maintenance man who was passing by. Law enforcement officials originally thought Berry had shot himself accidentally.

Houston college shooting injures 3

ABC News

Carlton Berry, 22, has been charged with aggravated assault after a shooting at Lone Star College that left him and two others wounded. It’s not known whether Berry was a student.

The gunfire came after two men on the suburban Houston campus became involved in an argument Tuesday morning. One fired a handgun and wounded the other man and a maintenance worker, while panicked students dove for cover . . .

Berry was arrested when he “walked into a local hospital with an apparent and accidental self-inflicted gunshot to his hip,” reports UPI.

Lone Star College is a “gun-free” campus.

Ex-boyfriend kills two at Kentucky college

20-year-old student and her uncle were shot to death in the parking lot of Hazard Community and Technical College in Kentucky last night. The uncle’s 12-year-old daughter was wounded. The student’s ex-boyfriend, Dalton Stidham, 21, has been charged with killing Caitlin Cornett and her uncle, Jackie Cornett, 53, and wounding the 12-year-old, who is in critical condition.

Cornett and Stidham had a child together, said police, who are investigating what led up to the shooting.

Community colleges must find ways to help studehts cope with domestic violence, such as “stalking, threats, physical, emotional and psychological abuse,” writes Carole Berotte Joseph, president of Bronx Community College, in Community College Times.

Depression sets in. Students who haven’t yet developed the maturity to handle the drama and turmoil may succumb to substance abuse. Attendance declines. Grades suffer. They drop out.

Even worse can happen, writes Joseph. Edith Rojas was studying to be a medical office assistant at BCC before she was stabbed to death on New Year’s Eve. The chief suspect is an ex-boyfriend. Reportedly, she’d broken up with him because he was “interfering” with her studies.