Law School Shooter Takes Students Hostage… Law School Moves Classes Online


A man armed with a loaded 9mm pistol and additional ammunition set off the fire alarm at the University of Oregon Law School around 3 a.m. Thursday. This incident sparked a lengthy search that ended after authorities chased down a series of fake 911 calls made by a student phone that the gunman stole after holding the student and another hostage in their dormitory for hours. Ultimately, the 37-year-old was apprehended and charged with threats, burglary, criminal trespassing, kidnapping and carrying a concealed firearm.

The community received an end-of-alert alert at 8:05 a.m.

Fortunately, no one was hurt, especially with the incident bearing all the hallmarks of a potentially devastating mass shooting, not that it alleviates the trauma suffered by the students he was holding hostage.

Meanwhile, the law school reacted to the gravity of this incident overnight in the only way you would expect a law school to react:

Shortly after 7 a.m., Marcilynn Burke, Dean of UO Law School, told the law school community in an email to avoid the building and avoid it even after sending clear message.

“In light of the situation at law school, all classes, meetings and activities should be moved online (ZOOM) this morning,” Burke added. “If you cannot do this, please plan to reschedule these activities. “

Oh, and the classes that were not held in this specific building continued as planned. It may sound aggressive to some people, but the law never stops. The threat was neutralized before law students even knew it existed. We’re also running out of classes weeks before exams – they have to integrate those classes somehow and technology perfected during the pandemic allows them to do that. That seems like the right balance, all things considered.

But for those of you following law school accommodation priorities: “COVID Outbreak” = Live Classes Continue, “Armed Gunman” = Zoom. Please note this for your future efforts.

Two University of Oregon students held hostage for hours in dormitory by gunman [Register Guard]

Head shotJoe Patrice is editor-in-chief at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe is also the Managing Director of RPN Executive Search.


Nancy I. Romero

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