Early on November 8, TCU was put on lockdown due to “gunshots heard on campus”. According to NBCDFW, Eric Hampton, a Roadrunner shuttle driver fired a single shot in what is considered a road rage confrontation with another Roadrunner employee. Roadrunner is the contracted shuttle service TCU uses. The lockdown occurred only two days after the Sutherland Spring church massacre, where 26 worshipers lost their lives.
Hampton had been arrested in Tarrant County on two other occasions according to Tarrant County criminal records. He was first arrested in 1990 on a theft charge, and again in 1992 for unlawfully carrying a weapon. Both charges were dismissed in 1993. This incident also happened in the wake of TCU deciding to opt out of Texas’s new campus carry law, which permits licensed gun owners to have their firearm on campus. Hampton was not a licensed gun owner, and he was also in violation of both Roadrunner policies and campus policy.
The incident sparked much debate on campus after the all clear was given, and it was confirmed no one was seriously hurt. Many students voiced their opinion that TCU should join other public colleges and universities in Texas by allowing campus carry, pointing out that the no carry policy did not prevent this first incident and only left students vulnerable.
Tim Lewis, a sophomore music major here on campus said, “Everyone in the dorm was totally defenseless if the shooter were to come inside, that made me more scared than anything”. Other students still believe campus carry will bring on further violence.
Other students voiced support for stricter gun protection on campus. One tweet from @SassiestSarah said “If TCU students came out brandishing guns, it would have made things infinitely worse. More people could’ve been hurt.”
This is a topic of discussion TCU should expect to hear more in the coming months after last Tuesday’s events.