Another college campus has experienced another deadly shooting and prompted another round of review and preparation for what no longer is the unthinkable.
Thirty-two were killed at Virginia Tech; five dead at Northern Illinois.
State Higher Education Commissioner Robert Stein says Missouri college campuses are again assessing security measures, "One cannot stand and say we will prevent any loss of life under all conditions."
Stein says the exercise for college campuses is to prepare as much as possible to prevent loss of life during emergencies. Stein says such preparations must include all emergencies, not just shootings.
No one in this state has to look beyond Kirkwood to understand the danger posed by an armed man intent on murder and the difficulty of stopping him, according to State Public Safety Director Mark James.
"There’s a situation where you actually had armed police officers in the room," says James.
Still, Charles Thornton stormed the Kirkwood City Council meeting and began shooting. He killed two police officers and three city officials before police shot and killed him. Kirkwood Mayor Mike Swoboda remains in critical condition at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, where he is being treated for two gunshot wounds to the head. A reporter injured in the shooting was treated and released from the hospital earlier.
Governor Blunt formed the Campus Security Task Force in wake of the Virginia Tech shootings in April of last year. College campuses throughout Missouri reviewed security measures. Stein says the effectiveness of those reviews was put to the test in Maryville when a gunman fired shots in October. Stein says Northwest officials put their emergency procedures in effect immediately, notifying the campus about the shooting and conducting a building by building search. No one was injured.
James says college campuses must remember what all public safety officials live by: create a plan, practice the plan and improve the plan.