UNCW Students Honor Va. Tech Shooting Victims

WILMINGTON -- The bell in the UNCW clock tower rang out Tuesday afternoon as students stopped to listen, paying tribute to the 32 people killed Monday in a deadly shooting rampage.

As students in Wilmington stopped in silence to listen to the bell's chimes, students in Blacksburg, Va. Gathered at a convocation at their campus to remember the victims.

UNCW students say they're dismayed by what their peers are going through in Virginia.

"It goes to show we are not immune from evil, even in the academic setting," said UNCW Police Chief David Donaldson.

After two UNCW students were murdered in 2004, the university invested millions of dollars to help police staffing and training on campus, and worked to connect university police dispatch to the county 911 center.

Donaldson says he's been in contact with other law enforcement agencies on the statewide response plan already in place to deal with campus shootings. He's also watching for what answers come out of the Virginia Tech shooting.

"Thousands of people a day come on to this campus, it's something we're always looking at," Donaldson said.

UNCW's campus is open, and as officials look to learn lessons from the Tech shooting, local students are thinking about their safety.

"It's scary, I've never really thought about it as a college thing, more high school," said UNCW freshman Jill Hagwood.

"You have to be aware of your surroundings," said senior Ari Bergeron.

Students and staff at UNCW are sending their thoughts and prayers to those in Blacksburg, hoping answers and understanding will come out of tragedy.

Reported by Joe Keiley