On Wednesday, June 1st, a murder-suicide took place at the UCLA campus. While news of the crime was still developing, students had little details as to what exactly was happening. This lead many to assume the worst and enter a state of panic as they faced something no one is ever prepared for. These UCLA students documented what it was like for them to live during this tragedy.
Bernardette Pinetta, 21, had no idea what was happening outside her dorm until she received a Bruin Alert.
The Bruin Alert is a system only available to UCLA students. UCLA’s Twitter accounts also kept students updated with information on the lockdown status.
Martin Quiroz, 21, was much closer to the crime scene.
Students who were on their way to campus, like Martin, were immediately turned away and directed to a safe area.
Artemis Chavez, 20, was headed to work near the engineering building. She didn’t think anything abnormal was happening until she started receiving orders from police.
She explains what scared her most was when cops started yelling “get down, get down!”
She was immediately taken to a safer space.
Students had to make sure no one got through the doors.
Students naturally couldn’t help but imagine the worst.
In May 2015, a shooting near the UC Santa Barbara campus occurred where four people, including two students, were injured.
Like “what if they come to the dorms?”
Bernardette is a resident advisor for her dorm. Her biggest concern was making sure all her residents were safe. She reached out through various platforms like Facebook and texts.
Martin, who is also an RA, started messaging friends to let them know this was a serious threat, and they needed to take precautions.
He made it a point to tell friends and tenants there was an “active shooter.”
On the other hand, Bernardette made sure she talked to her mom to keep her from freaking out.
Out-of-state relatives were more worried than her parents, who live in LA, because they weren’t receiving immediate updates.
Because after watching the news, UCLA moms and family members had a million questions.
“The first thing [my mom] told me was how close are you to this Boelter thing?”
Others chose not to reach out to parents…
To keep them from worrying in case they hadn’t heard the news.
Fear really started setting in when they realized their doors don’t lock.
“Oh my goodness, we’re in a room that can’t be locked.”
Most doors in classrooms don’t lock and they open out, so they can easily be opened from the outside.
Students started improvising to keep any intruders out.
Students started piling desks against the wall and tying the handles with belts to try to prevent doors from opening.
— Pranasha Shrestha (@pranashalovesu) June 1, 2016
Martin also told us people were tying belts around doorhandles to keep doors shut.
Fortunately, Bernardette, Martin and Artemis are safe.
UCLA will hold a vigil to commemorate the victims of this shooting.
— UCLA Newsroom (@UCLAnewsroom) June 2, 2016