Sacramento City College students greet increased security presence following deadly campus shooting

Police haven’t ruled out gang activity as search for suspect continued

A stepped-up police presence greeted Sacramento City College students on Monday, as the regular din of college life confronted a pall left over from last week's deadly campus shooting.

At press time, police were still searching for the man they believe responsible for the September 3 gunfire that ended the life of 25-year-old student Roman P. Gonzalez. The shooting occurred last Thursday afternoon in a parking lot on the south edge of the campus, the Sacramento Police Department said in a release. Police believe the incident was sparked by a physical altercation between two groups that escalated when a gun and knife were produced by those involved.

One other student suffered critical gunshot wounds, and was transported to a hospital, while another was grazed and arrested on an unrelated violation of parole, police announced. That individual, 23-year-old Rico Ridgeway, was later charged with assault with a deadly weapon on suspicion of brandishing the knife. Gang activity had not been ruled out.

Witness reports indicate it took two minutes for campus police to respond and 10 minutes for city police to appear, at which point the campus was placed on lockdown as officers scoured the campus and each building for the gunman.

Students weren't immediately informed about the danger. According to those on the scene, it took 41 minutes for the campus to issue a warning via text and 53 minutes for the same warning to go out via phone call.

In addressing students a day after the shooting, Los Rios Chancellor Brian King struck a somewhat defiant tone, according to a video posted to the Sac City Express' Twitter page. “You're in the right place today,” he told those gathered. Describing the shooting as an isolated incident and “the worst nightmare in so many ways,” he added, “I appreciate your courage in coming back.”

College president Kathryn Jeffery downplayed the shooting as something that happened on the campus' outskirts. “This is not the kind of thing that typically happens at City,” she added.

The student-run newspaper, which provided live updates during the active-shooter situation, reported that 14 officers along with private security were on campus last Friday as classes resumed, with Jeffery promising an increased law enforcement presence all this week.