Students stunned at perceived mall shooting

Julio Rodriguez
Creative Editor

The confrontation at Crossgates mall which led to a perceived shooting has left frustration and concern in the student body at Hudson Valley.

“I couldn’t believe this was happening. Never would I think that I would be stuck in such a situation. This is the stuff you see in the movies,” said human services student Jordan Harris.
Harris is a sales associate at H&M in Crossgates, and she was working during the situation. Though Jordan was working, she had relocated to the changing room for her break. Jordan took initiative during an uncertain and frightening situation.

Shots were fired off in Crossgates Mall on Saturday, Nov. 12, just before 2:30 p.m. The event caused a flood of panic and unrest among the inhabitants in the mall. The suspect was engaged in an altercation, and proceeded to shoot a gun in the crowded mall.

The suspect was arraigned on Monday on criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment. There seems to be a plausible suspect, however many students still feel upset by the situation.

Individual studies student Kenneth Alvarez-Miya had a friend who was in the mall during the shooting, and he believes he would have been frightened by the situation if he had been in his friend’s place.

“It was quiet and calm at one moment, and then it was crazy. People screaming, running, trying to get their children out of the door and making sure that everyone was safe. I would have been terrified out of my mind,” said Alvarez-Miya.

Jordan said, “I was scared, but strong. I comforted my co-workers and shoppers, called my loved ones to tell them what was happening and that I loved them. At the time, we had no information on where the shooter was, what his motives were and if he was still active.”

In the face of perceived danger, Jordan knew to keep level-headed. However, many may be unaware of the procedures to follow when in a potential shooting situation.

Director of public safety Fred Aliberti has advice for students to consider if they are ever involved in a shooting situation. Aliberti recommends that students should run away from the danger.

Aliberti recommends locating the nearest exit, and using it to flee the scene. Scoping out your day to day environment for exits could mean the difference between life and death.
If you can’t run away, the next step would be to hide in an area which is not easily accessible or is able to be barricaded. A last resort would be to fight with the assailant, but that step would only be taken if absolutely necessary.

Students have mixed feelings about the situation, however many have come to the agreement that gun control laws should be implemented more heavily to ensure the safety of the public.
Nursing student Kristyn King said, “I understand why some people would want to have one [a gun] for self defense, however it is not okay to go around shooting innocent people.”

Aliberti believes that gun control should be implemented to discourage the misuse of firearms.
“I feel there needs to be some control over firearms, and I think in New York State we do a very good job with that. With handguns you have to have a permit, you have to pass a background check. Takes quite some time to get permission to own a handgun,” said Aliberti.

Harris differs in that stance. She believes that harsh gun control laws will have the potential to cripple our ability to protect ourselves from danger.

“Law abiding citizens won’t be carrying a gun on them, and they will be unable to protect themselves against criminals. [the right to carry a firearm] should not be taken from us,” said Harris.

Harris continued, “If the right to carry a gun on our person is taken away, law abiding citizens will follow that law and criminals will not.” This dangerous dynamic could have the potential to put law abiding citizens in harm’s way.

Aliberti stressed that Hudson Valley has their students safety in mind at all times. Hudson Valley has an Emergency Preparedness Committee. The guidelines defined in the plan work to reduce the personal injury and property damage on campus. The entire plan can be found on the Hudson Valley website.

An emergency on campus is defined as an event or an incident that cannot be managed using routine measures or resources. In the event of an emergency, the guidelines described in the plan will be implemented to respond to, and to manage recovery from the emergency.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: