SHOOTING AT SKYLINE COLLEGE

Police and SWAT members patrolled the campus with heavy weaponry, attempting to determine if shooters are still on campus. ()

Police and SWAT members patrolled the campus with heavy weaponry, attempting to determine if shooters are still on campus. ()

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Click here for a map of the crime scene (Google Earth)

Slideshow of police response to shooting at Skyline College (UPDATED 9/5/09)

Students react to Skyline College shooting

Timeline of events after Skyline College shooting

 

UPDATE 9/04/09 1:35pm: When asked if the shooting incident on Skyline Campus was in any way gang related, San Bruno Police Department Commander Marc Catalano said that they were currently still investigating, and could not provide an answer.

 

 

UPDATE:

According to Mercury News, the three suspects arrested were in fact friends of the victim, and were defending him when the conflict occurred on September 2.

 

All three of the men arrested were Skyline students, although Bender had yet to register for any classes.

 

SKYLINE STUDENT SHOT ON CAMPUS

 

A young African-American man was shot on campus Wednesday, September 2 at approximately 1:30 pm.

 

The victim, a Skyline student,  was rushed to San Francisco General, where he arrived conscious and breathing with non-life threatening injuries. He was released later the same night.

 

Three suspects were arrested by San Bruno Police in connection with the shooting.

 

Germaine B. Benjamin, 18, Dimaryea J. McGhee, 20, and Jacori W. Bender, 18, all San Francisco residents, are being held in custody.

 

All three are being charged with attempted murder and criminal conspiracy, and Benjamin is being charged with posession of a wespon on school grounds.

 

According to Mercury News, the three suspects arrested were in fact friends of the victim, and were defending him when the conflict occurred on September 2.

 

All three of the men arrested were Skyline students, although Bender had yet to register for any classes.

 

The investigation is continuing, and police are still looking for three African-American men between ages 18 and 20, all of whom fled the scene in a flourescent purple Ford Escort.

 

The victim, whose name has not yet been released, was in parking lot #6 when he became involved in a confrontation between two groups of African-American men – which resulted in one of the men pulling a gun and shooting the victim, according to San Bruno Police.

 

Katharine Harer, a professor in the Language Arts department, was in the Learning Center when the victim ran in bleeding from the lower torso and yelling.

 

“His shirt had a lot of blood on it,” Harer said.  “It was hard to tell where he was hurt, but he came in yelling that he’d been shot.”

 

According to Harer, the victim ran out of the building almost immediately for unknown reasons, pursued by a woman in the building who claimed to have EMT training.

 

One student, Ray Al-hubaishy, saw three men fleeing campus right after the shooting, one of whom he said was carrying a “large, silver gun.”

 

“I wasn’t really scared,” Al-hubaishy remarked about seeing a person with a gun on campus.  “They were the ones who seemed scared to me…it seemed like they were running from something.”

 

Shortly after the shooting was reported to have taken place, police appeared on campus to begin searching for the suspects.  They were joined by SWAT teams within the hour.

 

Official announcements were given over the PA system telling students to remain in their classrooms and wait for police to escort them off campus, which was being locked down.

 

An official text alert was sent to over 9,000 subscribed phones at 2:06 pm reading “Active shooter on campus. Take safe cover immediately. Classes closed for the rest of the day.”

 

Barbra Christensen, Director of Community and Government Relations, declined to issue a statement at the time, saying that they were waiting for police.

 

Some students reported an issue receiving the text message, which Christensen later speculated may have been due to the individual carriers.

 

“What’s important is that enough people got it to warn others and be safe,” Christensen said.

During the crisis, the San Bruno Police department as well as Skyline’s own Public Safety office were unavailable for comment.

 

The Skyline View staff was escorted out of the newsroom at approximately 3 pm by officers armed with what appeared to be assault rifles.

 

Some 3,000 students and faculty were escorted over to the west side of campus, past the bus stops, then down College Drive to a police cordon, at which point they were no longer allowed to return to campus.

 

A large crowd developed around the cordon, comprised of both students and reporters, to try and piece together exactly what happened.

 

Commander Marc Catalano said in a statement to the press that police officers arrived on the scene roughly 30 minutes after the incident, which he said was a very fast response time, all factors considered.

 

He emphasized that the officers’ first priority was to ensure that all students remained safe and to determine if the shooter was still on campus.

 

Ray Hernandez, President of Academic Senate, declined to comment, saying that he had received an e-mail from the district instructing him not to comment on the issue.

 

The e-mail, which was sent to all district employees, said that all inquiries by the press should be directed to the San Bruno Police Department.

 

San Bruno Police later issued a statement saying that the shooting was an isolated incident.  According to the report, the victim had most likely been targeted specifically, and this was not the work of someone attempting to
go on a rampage.

 

The campus was kept under lockdown for the night while police investigated the shooting, and remined under survailence Thursday, September 3, during which the campus was closed and no classes took place.