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The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

100s of faculty and students attend ‘Love In’ to discuss shooting, mourn victim
City College student, Geve Spooner, leaves words of condolences at the “A Time to Bond Together” table at City College Sep. 4, 2015 Vanessa Nelson | Photo Editor | [email protected]

Just one day after the campus shooting, students and faculty are learning more from police about what led to the incident.

According to The Sacramento Bee and the Sacramento Police Department, first-year City College student Roman P. Gonzalez, 25,  was walking from his Mexican-American Studies class with his friend, 24-year-old Rico Ridgeway, when the two got into a verbal altercation with two other men.

The verbal altercation escalated to physical violence, and Ridgeway stabbed one of the other men. The fourth man in the fight pulled out a gun, shooting and killing Gonzalez, and grazing Ridgeway.

Gonzalez, who was shot in the chest, was pronounced dead on the scene. Ridgeway, a former City College student, was grazed by a bullet and treated on scene. He was then arrested for assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the case, and, also, on an unrelated warrant for violation of parole.

A third victim, who has yet to be identified, was injured and taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for serious injuries. According to police accounts, the man was a current student. Police have said that this was an isolated incident, and that “gang activity is not being ruled out” in the investigation.

Los Rios Chief of Police Cheryl Sears stated, Friday that the Sacramento Police Department has surveillance video from the area that has a recording of the incident. It is uncertain at this time whether or not the video has an accurate visual of the shooting suspect.

Graphics design professor Don Button said he was just pulling into the staff parking lot F, when he heard gunshots just around the corner.

“I wasn’t sure, at first, that they were gun shots, but there were three, then a slight pause, and then there were three or four more,” said Button. “I was looking around, and people were walking away from that area, so I asked a couple of students if they knew what that sound was, and they said ‘no.’

“I walked around toward the corner, just about 20 yards, and saw the guy on the ground and several people around him. At that point, there were some students running toward that area.”

Button said that he didn’t see anyone who could have been the suspect, and that staff in the operations office were pulling people inside the building yelling, “Get inside. Get inside,” in an attempt to lock it down.

As of Saturday morning, the Sacramento Police Department were still searching for one suspect described as a Pacific Islander male wearing a white shirt and beige cargo shorts. He was last seen fleeing from the scene.

In light of the shooting, hundreds of faculty, students, and family and friends of the victim filled the Quad Friday, Sept. 4 for a “Love In” to talk about the incident that killed Gonzalez.

Admissions and Records supervisor Kim Goff responded to the incident by hosting the event that offered tables of free cookies and brought more than 200 people to the Quad. Goff stated that her reason for setting up the event was to bring students and faculty together to have an opportunity to talk to one another.
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“It’s really nice to have people from across the campus, including students, out here who understand the feeling that everyone feels,” said Goff. “We just really needed something positive to happen on campus today.”

The event not only allowed students and faculty to come together to help each other during a time of mourning, it also helped some pay their respects by writing a note to the victim on two paper banners set up on tables.

Goff said she and her staff weren’t sure what they were going to do with the banners, but the current plan is to have two copies — one for the family of the slain victim, and the other to hang in the lobby of the LRC until it is subsequently put into a time capsule.

Members of the victim’s family were at the event, but declined to make a statement beyond wanting to mourn the loss of Gonzalez.

City College President Kathryn Jeffrey and Los Rios Community College Chancellor Brian King addressed the students and faculty also, reminding everyone there were counselors and police chaplains on campus to talk to anyone grieving. They also reminded people that this was an isolated incident, and that there are no reasons to be afraid.

“This is not the kind of thing that typically happens at [City College],” said Jeffrey. “We are a safe college. We are a safe campus.”

King told the crowd that campus safety is utmost now.

“Yesterday was a sad day — the worst nightmare in so many ways,” said King. “But coming back [to campus], I appreciate your courage to be here, because this is the right place, and as [Los Rios Chief of Police Cheryl Sears] said, what happened here yesterday was an isolated incident, and we’re going to do everything in our power to keep you safe.”

Sears added said this was the first shooting in the district’s history that injured or killed someone on any of the four Los Rios campuses. In response to the shooting, the Los Rios Police Department added more security on campus.

According to Sears, there were nine sworn officers, two sergeants, three captains, herself and campus security at the school. She added that the boost in security would be implemented in the upcoming weeks.

Sears stated that the Sacramento Police Department has surveillance video from the area that has a recording of the incident. As the days pass, more information regarding the incident, victims and shooter are expected to come out.

“We send messages of condolences to all of the families involved,” said Jeffrey. “This is not the kind of thing any college administrator wants to do as part of their work — to talk about the loss of a member of our community.

“This is where we are today, and I do thank you all for contributing to make this a family, college community that supports each other regardless of what the situation is.”

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