Irving Police Report Two Dead, Including Gunman, At North Lake College
Two people are dead after an apparent murder-suicide Wednesday at North Lake College in Irving, police say.
The school went on lockdown around 11:45 a.m. as authorities searched buildings for an intruder who was believed to be armed and dangerous. North Lake College issued an alert to students telling them to barricade themselves in the nearest room and wait for further instructions from police.
An hour later, police said the threat to the campus was over, but officers would continue to search the grounds to ensure safety.
Irving police identified 21-year-old Adrian Victor Torres as the shooter and the victim as 20-year-old Janeera Nickol Gonzalez. Gonzalez was a current student, who began attending in 2015, and Torres was a former student, according to North Lake College records.
The campus is closed for the rest of the week and reopen on Monday. Students or employees who need to get their belongings from campus can go to the central campus library between 9 and 11 a.m. Friday to be escorted by campus police.
In a press release, Christa Slejko, president of North Lake College, said, "This is an emotional time for the North Lake family. We're heartbroken that such a tragedy has occurred on campus. We will address any needs for counseling on campus as soon as we re-open."
Reaction from students, teachers
After police announced two bodies were found, there were lines of cars trying to get out of the parking lot and groups of students, some of them drenched from the rain, walking off campus. KERA's Krystina Martinez reports some were in shock or scared, and others were just relieved that they didn’t get caught up in the violence. Some students didn’t know what had happened exactly. They had just heard rumblings – on social media or just through friends. Others were a lot closer to the action.
Paul Hysinger, who he teaches English as a second language at the college, says teachers and students were in their rooms with the doors locked for a "long time." In his building, he couldn't hear any noises, he said.
"We didn’t know whether it was real or a drill. We have drills there occasionally. They sounded pretty serious when they told us to go to our rooms and lock the doors."
Hysinger has been a teacher at the college for eight years.
"This is a really diverse college. We have students from just all over the world. It’s really a very peaceful place. We never expected it to be here."
Johnkeia Fleming is in her first year at North Lake. She said her teacher didn’t know what to do. She took the lead and turned off the lights in her classroom.
"Honestly, I wasn’t scared," she said. "It’s life. It happens."
She said she hasn’t experienced anything like this before. She called her friends and family, and they let her know what was going on. She said she was praying and that she's "grateful" and "happy" to be OK.
Dennis Holmes, a professor since 2013, teaches video technology. Holmes said he was in the performance hall of the P Building on campus, and he heard a girl coming down the hall screaming. The campus goes through these drills "all the time," but they knew it was more serious when the police officers started swarming the halls and warning people.
"I was curious what was going on on other side."
North Lake has had a couple lockdowns in the past but not an active shooter, Holmes said.
"You don’t walk in every day in fear but you have to be really be cautious and vigilant about what’s going on around you," he said.
Second attack on a Texas college campus this week
During the lockdown, DART's Orange Line trains weren't serving North Lake College's station. A bus shuttle was being set up between Belt Line and Irving Convention Center's stations.
The shooting was the second deadly attack on a Texas campus this week. A man stabbed four people, killing one, on the University of Texas at Austin campus Monday.