Scary lessons

Just after 4 p.m. on September 3, I learned via Facebook that gunshots had been fired minutes earlier at Sacramento City College. There was a body on the ground, a gunman at large and the campus was being put into lockdown.

I work at City College as an adjunct journalism professor, and for the next several hours I followed the news, worried, as I texted and called students and colleagues.

In the end, the incident didn't involve an active shooter. Instead, it was an altercation between several people, including at least two City College students. One student, Roman P. Gonzalez, died at the scene. As of press time, the gunman still hadn't been apprehended.

Questions have been raised—fairly—about how long it took campus officials to send out a warning to students and faculty. Still, I'm proud of how so many responded, in particular those who rushed to ensure student safety.

I'm also proud of the student journalists for The Express, the school newspaper. News Editor Vienna Montague was on campus and reported from the crime scene. Meanwhile, print Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Taraya and online Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Hooks basically haven't stopped working since, digging for sources, seeking tips and keeping the story updated. One media colleague even told me she used the paper's Twitter feed as her primary source of information.

It's not the kind of class lesson I'd ever hoped to participate in, and frankly it's the students who deserve full credit for covering the story quickly, calmly and professionally. Kudos.