"On Thursday, November 22 (1971), a former MIT student named Larry J. Harmon entered St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church in Spokane, Washington - his home-town; He was armed with a sledge hammer and a clip-fed .22 caliber rifle. With the hammer he smashed the interior of the church and with the rifle he killed the caretaker, 68 year old Hilary Kunz. Emerging from the church, which stands on the campus of Gonzaga University, Harmon wounded four more people before police officers shot and killed him. He was 21, and beyond doubt, insane, if that word has any meaning. His father... described his son as a religious fanatic who believed that he had seen the devil and that Christ was an imposter, "the devil incarnate." Frustrated in his attempts to preach this gospel, his father said, Larry went on a rampage."
From the MIT School Newspaper "The Tech" November 23, 1971
Many in the Gonzaga community are unaware that an "active shooter" terrorized our quiet campus a little less than 40 years ago. While we have been blessed with relative peace since that terrible day, we know that we are not immune to another incident.
Since the Virginia Tech shooting, many colleges and universities have made great strides in better preparing and responding to these incidents. Gonzaga is no exception. In the past year alone, Gonzaga has implemented and tested an emergency notification system called Zag Alert that allows University officials to quickly disseminate basic emergency information through a variety of media including text messaging. Staff, faculty and students are encouraged to sign up for alerts at http://www.gonzaga.edu/News-and-Events/zagalert.asp
We've also developed guidance, based on best practices, for responding to an active shooter event. These include the basic steps that all community members can take to survive an active shooter event. Students, staff, and faculty with a ZagWeb account can go to http://www.gonzaga.edu/active-shooter and view a 20 minute training video produced by the Center for Personal Protection & Safety. "Shots Fired on Campus" outlines the survival steps you can take when confronted by an active shooter on campus. In fact, much of this nationally-recognized training video was filmed on the Eastern Washington University and Gonzaga campuses. We encourage you to invest just a few minutes to learn the basic steps to take if confronted by an active shooter.
This knowledge, combined with enrollment in ZagAlert, can help you survive an active shooter event. For questions about this guidance, or how to obtain additional training:
Students: please contact Campus Public Safety & Security Director John VanSant at 313-3996.
Staff & Faculty: please contact Safety Programs Manager Dennis Hansen
1117 N Dakota
Spokane, WA 99258-0076
Basement of Welch Hall
Office hours: 9am-4pm, M-F
Associate Director, Specialized Services
Associate Director, Operations