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Students want increased security after WIU shooting

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Although the accused shooter is now in custody, students on campus said they are shook up.

They said they hope the incident prompts safety changes at the university.

It's something officials said they plan to review moving forward.

The shooting happened at Thompson Hall around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night.

Students who live in the residence hall said the incident was traumatizing.

Now, they're pushing for increased school security, with hopes that they never have to experience anything like this ever again.

"People were running out of the room and they were freaking out and I could just smell gun powder," WIU freshman Nathaniel Cichon said. "It was awful."

Students on the Western Illinois University campus are still processing gun shots heard in Thompson Hall Tuesday night.

"Someone was shot and that's just not okay," WIU freshman Daniela Brooks said.

Now back in his dorm room at Thompson Hall, freshman Cichon said he wants change.

"When I moved in, nobody checked anything," Cichon said. "You just loaded up your stuff and just got in the elevator. My biggest concern right now is that he's not the only one who has a gun here."

Brooks is also pushing for increased security.

"It's crazy to think that you're not able to know who has what," Brooks said.

WIU Communications Executive Director Darcie Shinberger said no one on campus is allowed to have any time of fire arm or weapon on campus.

Moving forward, the university plans to address these concerns.

"We'll look at everything from to response time to hall staff to security in the halls, our alert system, everything in this debriefing in the next couple of weeks," Shinberger said.

A campus community pushes for change, as it works to return to a sence of normalcy.

"I'm surprised there isn't any metal detectors or anything like that, like airports," Brooks said. "Definitely more things need to be looked into when it comes to that."

"It's hard to say what could be done about it," Cichon said. "I think maybe searching peoples' rooms and maybe next time when people move in, looking at their stuff a little bit better."

University officials remind students, when they see or hear something, say something.
They advise students to report any suspicious behavior to the office of public safety.

WIU officials said counseling services are available for students.
They said they also have telehealth counseling appointments available.

You can reach the university counselor center by calling 309-298-2453.

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Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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