The Arizona Desert Lamp

Confirmed: UA shooting ‘consistent’ with self-defense

Posted in Campus, Politics by Connor Mendenhall on 16 October 2008

The Tucson Police Department has released more information on today’s near-campus shooting, and according to officers it appears to be a case of self-defense. From the Arizona Daily Star hourly update:

Evidence in a fatal shooting of two home invaders by a University of Arizona student appears to be consistent with his story that he was defending himself, police said.

At least one of the invaders was armed with a gun during the incident, which occurred shortly after 12:30 a.m., according to Sgt. Fabian Pacheco, a Tucson Police Department spokesman. The 23-year-old student was home alone in the 800 block of East Adams Street — near North Euclid Avenue and East Speedway — when the home invasion occurred. There was a knock at the door, at which time he armed himself with a gun because of the late hour, Pacheco said.

The man at the door asked for someone and the student told him that the person did not live there, Pacheco said. The student looked past the man he was speaking with and saw another man who had his face covered and was armed with a gun. He attempted to retreat into his home but the men made their way in, Pacheco said.

The student called police to report the shooting and when officers arrived at the guest house they found the two men dead inside just past the doorway.

Their names and exact ages were not released, but one was in his mid to late 20s and the other was about 25 years old, Pacheco said. The UA student was questioned and is cooperating with police, Pacheco said. His name is not being released. There is no indication that the student is or has been involved in any criminal activity, police said.

Here’s the question on my mind: how many UA students own guns for self-defense? I’m an enthusiastic supporter of Second Amendment rights, but the idea of buying a firearm because of campus crime—or Tucson crime—has never seriously crossed my mind (then again, I am more of a “resistance to tyranny” type). I can’t immediately think of any college-age acquaintances who own guns either, though maybe they’re just hiding them in the crisper drawers of their keggerators or something.

The most-cited survey on college students and firearms is “Guns and Gun Threats at College,” a 2002 study from the Harvard School of Public Health, which found that 4.3 percent of students own guns nationwide, and only 2 percent for self-defense. Of course, Arizona is probably higher than the national average (an assumption that the study backs up, finding rather unsurprisingly that states with more gun owners also have more college-aged gun owners). For comparison, gun ownership in the western US runs around 39 percent, so students are well below the average.

Looks like these invaders (is that really the best word? Were they Mongols?) made an unfortunate and improbable error—had they knocked next door, odds are the outcome would have been far worse.


2 Responses

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  1. Garrett said, on 18 October 2008 at 5:13 am

    When I moved off campus I always kept a 12-gauge shotgun and/or a .357 magnum in my apartment. I never had to use them, but they were always at the ready. I was living in what is now Campus Walk Condominiums when the Kappa Alpha shooting occurred.

    In all, I can recall seven UA-related gun-related incidents since 2002:
    * Spring 2002 Nursing school homicide-suicide: 4 dead
    * Spring 2004 aggravated assault (pistol-whipping at University/Park)
    * Fall 2004 or Spring 2005 Kappa Alpha shooting: one injured
    * Fall 2006 NorthPointe shooting: one dead
    * Fall 2006 FIJI shooting: one injured
    * Christmas 2006: UAPD officer fatally shoots man brandishing shotgun at UMC during traffic stop
    * Some guy brandished a weapon at Old Main and got arrested. Maybe between Fall 06 and Spring 07.
    Much of that I outlined here:

    Also, a buddy of mine who graduated recently had his own recent incident in which he was glad to be open-carrying.

    There are a good number of places that will get you a concealed-carry class and license for 16 hours and about $120. It’s on my list for when I get back to the states.

  2. […] Lamp coverage of guns on campus can be accessed here, here, and here. Image courtesy of Flickr user SigEp NV Alpha ‘03 Tagged with: Concealed Carry, […]

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