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Security guards take precautionary action after Winchester shooting

Students leaving campus late Tuesday night could hear sirens from the Winchester shooting.
Don Gilman / Mainstream
Students leaving campus late Tuesday night could hear sirens from the Winchester shooting.

Campus security worked closely with the Douglas County sheriff’s department and initiated procedures for lock down and student escorting the night of Oct 22. when  a shooting incident near the college led to two deaths.

Police and sheriff officers looked for the shooter in the Hwy 99, Page Road area across the river from the college around 9:30 p.m., a time after evening classes had ended and most students were off campus. NE Stephens was closed from the Winchester Dam near College Road to the 5200 block of NE Stephens, according to KMTR.

“I’ve been here 17 years, and this is the first time something like this has happened,” Steve Buchko, UCC director of security said.

Buchko first learned of the incident when UCC security guards notified him of the sirens as authorities responded to the scene near the UCC area. 

Although there were few people on campus at the time of the shooting, security guards took precautionary actions by walking students and faculty to their cars. Also, custodians were secured in their buildings.

NE Stephens, one of the main routes into UCC, was re-opened about 1 a.m., according to KMTR.   Buchko contacted a sheriff’s deputy  at 6:30 a.m. and received assurances that the shooter had fled the area; at that time, he decided against using UCC’s early alert system which sends automated texts to students and staff who have registered for the alert.

Some students showed concern when they saw Douglas County sheriff cars on campus Wednesday morning, but the patrol cars were only an added precaution, Buchko said.

An email was sent out on behalf of Rick Aman, Interim Vice President of Student Services, via Riverhawk web notifying students of the incident. The untimely email, sent around 1 p.m. Wednesday, encouraged members of the community to “have a heightened awareness of their surroundings,” even though no ties were suspected between the incident and the college.

Buchko encourages students to sign up for the UCC Emergency Alert Notification System so they can be notified in case of a campus crisis such as a shooting. Currently, emails regarding campus concerns are sent out to students; however, few check them on a constant basis. An easier and more convenient way to stay connected is through the early alert system. A text can be sent to and received directly by the phone a student is carrying.

Students interested in signing up for the early alert notification can do so by going to www.umpqua.edu, clicking on the UCC Security link on the left hand side of the page, then on the “Emergency Notification” tab. Buchko is also willing to help any student having trouble signing up. They may contact him at 541-440-7794.