19-year-old UT student opens fire on UT campus

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by Associated Press and KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on September 28, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 2 at 1:16 AM

Austin police and crime-scene officials are searching a home said to have housed the man they say was responsible for a shooting at the Perry-Castaneda Library on the University of Texas campus Tuesday.

Just before 3 p.m. KVUE's news partner, the Austin-American Statesman, reported the gunman involved in the incident was 19-year-old Colton Tooley. His identity was confirmed to the Statesman by the Travis County Medical Examiner's office.

The Statesman reports investigators are moving in and out of a house in the 3200 block of Western Drive in South Austin, just north of William Cannon Drive near Brodie Lane. According to public documents, Tooley lived in that home.

KVUE has learned that Tooley was a graduate of Crockett High School in the Austin Independent School District.

Tooley opened fire Tuesday morning just after 8 a.m. inside the campus library, then shot and killed himself. Authorities say Tooley was a student who acted alone. UT’s student directory lists Tooley as a sophomore math major, with a focus on actuarial sciences, within the College of Natural Sciences.

UT police spokesperson Rhonda Weldon says no one else was injured in Tuesday's shooting.

An emergency alert warning of an "active shooter" and "shelter in place" was listed on the UT website more than an hour after the gunfire happened on the sixth floor of the Perry-Castaneda Library.

Weldon says a man with an automatic weapon opened fire inside the library, located on the south end of the sprawling campus, and no shots were fired outside. Then, he shot himself.

The University of Texas website said, "A suspected shooter in PCL library is dead. Police are searching for possible second shooter. Lock doors, do not leave your building."

UT police used a siren and texting system to tell students there was an emergency situation on campus and to stay indoors. Students received the first text notice of an armed suspect at the Perry-Castaneda Library at 8:21 a.m. Then, at 8:45, a text said to shelter in place. A third text sent at 10:18 a.m. said to remain in shelter in place.

Just before 10:15 a.m. the UT Emergency Information webpage continued to send the warning, "If you are off campus, STAY AWAY. If you are on campus, lock doors, do not leave your building.

Soon after, UT announced that all classes Tuesday were canceled. The lockdown on the University of Texas campus was lifted just after noon.

Investigators are trying to determine what sparked the gunfire. Officials say Tooley had an AK-47. Investigators have not confirmed how many shots were fired.

Student Andrew McWaters tells KVUE he saw the shooter in a ski mask and a business suit, who smiled at him and yelled, "Whoohoo."

City officials and police held a press conference around 10:45 a.m.  University of Texas President William Powers said, "We are fortunate that the UT Police Department and Austin Police Department in a coordinated manner...worked extremely well this morning."

APD Chief Art Acevedo said APD SWAT, UT PD, Travis County PD, and DPS SWAT all conducted searches of the perimeter. Bomb-sniffing dogs were used as well, to make absolutely certain there was no second shooter, and that no explosive devices were left behind.

UT's police chief says that word of a second shooter may have originated due to the fact that police have received multiple descriptions of the shooter.

Police do not yet have a motive for the shooting.

If you saw the gunman, call KVUE News at 512/459-9442.

If you have more information on the shooting you call toll free 1-866 657-9400.

If you need counseling or help coping with stress caused by the shooting call: 512-471-2255.

Send your photos to KVUE's YouNews.

On Aug. 1, 1966, Charles Whitman went to the 28th floor observation deck at the UT clock tower and began shooting at people below. He killed 16 people and wounded nearly three dozen before police killed him about 90 minutes after the siege began.

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