ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Students at St. Catherine University went to class as usual Wednesday after a shooting the night before left a security guard injured and the campus on lockdown.
The shooting happened just before 9:30 p.m. in a wooded area near Cleveland Avenue in St. Paul. An unnamed security guard was shot in the shoulder after confronting the suspect.
The shooter remains on the loose.
Mark Johnson, the vice president of safety and security at St. Catherine, says the school acted quickly to put the campus on lockdown and inform students about what happened.
“Obviously, safety is the No. 1 concern for us here on campus,” he said. “We want to give the right information as quick as we can.”
But several students say they didn’t know anything about a shooting until several hours later.
Freshman Ahna Boe says her roommates asked their RA why they were on lockdown, but weren’t given any answers.
A week into her classes, she had never heard of the safety app that the university says was giving updates.
“We didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “We just knew everybody couldn’t leave.”
David Olsen, a parent to a St. Catherine student, was also frustrated by the university’s response.
He says he was visiting his daughter at her dorm and was allowed in and out of the building during the lockdown.
“If they’re on lockdown, what does that mean?” he said. “What do you do with people other than students? If you have a parent or-non student there, what are you supposed to do to them?”
The university is encouraging students to sign up for LiveSafe, the safety app for future alerts.
Students hope they won’t have to experience something like what happened Tuesday night again.
“I definitely don’t think I’ll be walking outside after dark anymore,” Boe said.
The guard hurt in the shooting was treated at the hospital and released.
In response to a question about the university’s lack of communication, the school says it focused on first sending out emails, tweets, and app updates for students to seek shelter during the lockdown.
The information on the shooting didn’t come until two hours later.