Active Shooter Forces GCU Security To Lock Students In
Start writing a post
Student Life

Active Shooter Forces GCU Security To Lock Students In

On March 29, 2019, Grand Canyon University students were naively enjoying their poolside weekend when their phones buzzed in unison. GCU entrances were on lock-down until further notice. They wouldn't tell us why.

Active Shooter Forces GCU Security To Lock Students In

On Friday, March 29, at approximately 11 a.m. nearly all Grand Canyon University students received a shocking, campus-wide message that read, "GCU ALERT: Phoenix Police is working an emergency call in the area of 33rd Ave south of Camelback. 33rd Ave and 34th Ave entrances will be closed until resolved."

No one knew the real reason behind the "emergency call." My friend Jaden quickly sat up and informed me of the message as phones all around us continued to buzz. Sirens echoed in the background, but anyone who lives in the downtown Phoenix area usually ignores the warnings. This time we paid attention. Campus security rushed around—motioning to one another and making indecipherable calls on their radios. It wasn't until 2 p.m. (the same day) that students received a second text, saying, "GCU ALERT: Phoenix police are still searching for 1 suspect south of main campus. 2 of 3 suspects are in custody. South entrances will remain closed for now."

No one spoke about the incident. Was campus security attempting to lock out a nearby intruder? Speculation led some to believe that the intruder was already within the gates.

Only days before, a dumpster fire had filled my Old Testament with billows of a smoky stench. As a succession of campus policemen and nearby firefighter rushed by, one of my classmates questioned them,

"Is there a shooting?"

If only campus security had known his words were prophetic.

After finishing our time at the pool, Jaden and I sauntered towards our last classes of the day, observing the whispering of campus security and the confusion of the students passing by. Immediately after sitting down, I turned to question my classmates about the incident. Someone quickly commented,

"It was a shooting. The police are still searching for the third suspect."

I assumed his claim was only speculation. Phones buzzed again a moment later:

"2:24 p.m. : GCU ALERT: Phoenix Police have concluded their search. We have been cleared to resume normal operations and south entrances will be opened back up."

We were still in the dark. Security continued to withhold any information about the incident. I was determined to discover the facts. After scouring the internet for any news broadcasts or articles, I realized that no news stations had covered the Camelback Road emergency call.

On March 30, I again enlisted the company of my friend Jaden. I planned to interrogate security about the alleged "shooting," while Jaden wisely hung back and provided moral support. We hurried to Security Headquarters, where I attempted to secure some answers from a nearby policeman. He was reluctant to speak, sputtering,

"Are you with a news station? Unless you have permission or a supervisor I can talk to, I can't tell you anything. I'm not at liberty to disclose any information for public record."

Jaden and I persisted—locating and badgering a second security officer until he admitted,

"They didn't tell us anything. All we did was block off the school so that the guy couldn't get in."

He kindly pointed me to another lead. After a series of calls, the operator finally redirected me to a "Media Relations" line. The phone line turned out to be a dead end.

On Sunday, March 31, I approached another anonymous authority on the incident. They proceeded to ask me,

"Why do you want to know?"

I smiled nervously, "I'm here to become an investigative journalist. I want to write about it."

That fact seemed to appeal to them. They adjusted their radio, admitting,

"It was a shooting. I'm not supposed to tell you about it—"

Why not?

On Monday, April 1, I again attempted to reach a Media Relations Public Information Officer. The phone calls failed. Instead, I reached out to the security guard who'd spoken with me the day before. They offered me information, only to retract it minutes later:

"My boss says no information until the Phoenix PD releases it."

Minutes later, I secured contact with a Phoenix police officer, who agreed to do some investigating. They soon informed me that two separate incidents had occurred south of 33rd Avenue and Camelback Road. However, both incidents had allegedly been:

"wrapped up and put away."

The officer became increasingly frustrated as she continued to ask,

"I need more details, ma'am. Do you have any names of the victims involved? All I've found is that there were two incidents south of Camelback Road, but neither matches your description. They also didn't happen on March 29."

"All I know is that there were allegedly three shooters and Phoenix police were searching for the third."

"Nothing I have here says that there were multiple shooters. The only information we get is from detectives unless parole takes care of it."

"You found nothing with multiple alleged shooters?"

"No. Nothing."

The GCU Security messages have explicitly described three suspects. I thanked the officer for her time before she hung up. We were left to believe that detectives were still out on the case.

Grand Canyon University Security was protecting us from something on March 29, 2019.

No one knew exactly what it was.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Reclaim Your Weekends From The 'Sunday Scaries' With 'Self-Love Sundays' Instead
Olivia DeLucia

Laid back and taking it easy — sometimes that is the motto we all need after a busy week. Sunday scaries? Yes, they are valid – but you know what else is? A Sunday full of self-love. A lazy Sunday spent doing what you feel needs to be done to ease into the next week. Self-Love Sundays are a guilty pleasure that isn't only essential for our mind, and body, but are also a surprisingly proactive way to devote the upcoming week with a clear mindset.

So, what is a more suitable way to dedicate your week's end than a beautifully, connected playlist to accompany your face masks and journaling? Cheers, to a Self-Love Sunday (and a playlist intertwined with it to match). (Please note: "Sunday Morning" isn't included in this list, due to the obvious, but feel free to blast it anyway, we know you want to).

Keep Reading... Show less
Sunset Girl

The sun rose and peeked through the sheer curtains. Rose’s alarm shrieked. The loud bells caused her phone to jump on the side table. It was time for her to get ready for church. Blindly reaching for her phone, she shut the alarm off and pulled at the covers providing her a cocoon of warmth and tossed them to the side. She swept her bare feet across the bed to touch the cool wooden floor.

Rose softly tiptoed to the corner of the bedroom to grab her clothes dangling on the arm of the bedroom chair. Scooping all of the items of her chosen outfit, she headed to the bathroom hoping that she wouldn’t drop anything.

Round, piercing blue eyes stared back at her in the bathroom mirror. Rose fingered the wrinkles forming around her eyes. So many of them bore signs of laughter and smiling. Slowly dropping her hands, she couldn’t remember the last time she laughed in her home with Tom. Shaking her head as if to erase the negative thoughts, she reached for her makeup bag and went through her regular routine.

Applying her favorite deep rose lipstick, Rose headed downstairs to make her coffee and bagel to take with her to church. The smell of dark-roast coffee swirled in the air as Rose sliced her cinnamon raisin bagel. Hearing the Keurig sputter with the fresh brew, Rose found the interruption of the stillness comforting. The toaster signaled that her bagel was done with a soft pop. It had a delicious golden brown color. Placing the bagel on the counter, she generously spread honey nut flavored cream cheese across both halves. Gathering her bible, notebook, and pens from the side table on the porch she stuffed them into her purse. Purse hanging on her right shoulder she juggled her coffee and bagel in both of her hands as she headed to the garage.

Keep Reading... Show less

This Holiday Season, Choose To Be Eco-friendly And Reduce Pollution

Many of us have old magazines lying around, fully read and not of much use anymore. However, we can use their bright colors and prints as a stylish and trendy wrapping paper!


It can be overwhelming to see the detrimental effects of climate change and pollution on the news, from animals dying and forest fires spreading, but there are smaller changes that we can all make to reduce our carbon footprint, and it begins with our gifting season.

On average, Americans throw 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Years, which translates to 25 million tons of garbage. That's 1 million extra tons per week.

Keep Reading... Show less

This Feeling Hurts

A Poem on Love

Ronny Salerno

This feeling hurts. I must declare

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge

After all, isn't it the season of drinking...?

10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge

Thanksgiving has officially ended which means we are in preparation for the final holidays of the year. December is a busy month, filled with shopping and sales, wrapping gifts, planning family gathering and parties, cooking and baking, holiday movies, and of course, lots of drinking. I know that I will be spending a lot of December watching the ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas,

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments