School Shooting Hits Close To Home At UNR

By: Daniel Chanin Email
By: Daniel Chanin Email

Thursday's shooting at Northern Illinois University hit especially close to home for the University of Nevada's athletic department.

Several members of that staff including Athletic Director Cary Groth either worked at Northern Illinois or graduated from the university.

Even though they're some 1800 miles away, these people can't help but feel a close connection to this disaster.

"It's a little farm town," says Tekla Martin, the Director of Donor Relations at the University. "You just don't expect things to happen like that. It's a shock, it's unbelievable."

Before coming to UNR in 2006, Martin worked at Northern Illinois for 16 years. Most of her family still lives in the area, which sent her into a panic when news of the shooting first broke.

"It's been phone call after phone call making sure everyone is okay," says Martin. "And then they're calling me to make sure I've gotten word as well."

None of the shooting victims have been identified, but Martin says no athletes were killed and she's been able to make contact with all of her friends who have kids at the university.

Even so, the recovery process is far from over. But Martin knows firsthand that the devastated campus will eventually move forward.

"It's just a very family oriented campus and it'll take a lot to rebound from this," says Martin. "I can't imagine what they went through at Virginia Tech or Louisiana Tech. But i guess it's a little closer to home now since I worked their for so many years."

Martin and several other sources say campus officials increased security back in December when police found threats written on one of the school's bathroom walls. One of those threats said "things will change most hastily in the final days of the semester"


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