Surviving the South

Last Wednesday, an event occured that I never thought would happen in my life, but especially not in Buies Creek, NC.

I was in the athletic training room at the basketball gym getting ready for practice. The football team was across the hall in the weight room lifting. The basketball coaches kept coming in asking me if I knew where the girls were. At that point, I hadn't seen any of them, and I thought it was sorta odd that each coach came in and asked. A couple minutes later, the football team moved from the weight room and into the hall and were talking quite loud. One of the volleyball girls who was in the ATR at the time, went out to ask what they were doing. When she came back in, she said, "There's a sniper on campus, so they have to stay away from the windows," but in a real non-chalant way.

The volleyball ATC and I thought she was joking because of the la-dee-da kinda way she said it, but the next time one of our coaches came by (again looking for the girls), I asked what was going on, when she confirmed that there was indeed a gunman on campus and the University was on lockdown. On the one hand, I was like, "Oh no, what should I do?" but on the other hand, the football team was between me and the door. There were a lot of huge guys a gunman would have to get through before he got to me, but I would hope to be long gone by then.

I texted my co-workers to make sure they were aware of the situation. I also texted Ben and my parents what was going on so they knew about it before finding out about it on the news and so they knew I was safe.

Despite the situation, the coaches decided to hold practice with the eight girls we had. It was interesting hearing the stories and rumors unfold through texts and social media. Really, where would we be without technology? How would we know about anything?

As it turned out, we were never in any real danger, but the police wanted to play it safe. The "gunman" was a student who lived in a house on campus. He was dishonorably discharged from the US Air Force for stealing $15,000 worth of weapons and ammunition. He also suffered from PTSD as a result of compat in the Middle East. On Tuesday, he had been arrested for stealing a gun from a gun shop (Don't gun shops run background checks? I mean, which gun shop hires someone who has stolen weapons from the US military?), but posted bail and was released that night. On Wednesday, the gun shop realized there were seven other guns missing (just realized this now?), so the cops went to his house with a warrant. They hand cuffed the guy, but he somehow managed to slip out of the handcuffs and baracaded himself in his bedroom which contained weapons and explosives. As a result, the police put the University on lockdown and had to call in the SWAT team. Three hours later, he surrendered peacefully and no one was hurt.

I never thought that I would ever find myself in a situation like this, especially the country! The University made the news that day, but Penn State stole our thunder by firing some coach or something like that and some other big wig. Please, Penn State, don't you get enough attention every Saturday?

espite the situation, we decided to go through with practice with the eight girls


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