Chancellor King: Sac City shooting was ‘worst nightmare’

A police officer talks to Davida Trejo, the mother of shooting victim Roman Gonzalez, 25, on Thursday after the on campus shooting at Sacramento City College that left Gonzalez dead and two other students injured. (Photo by Ashlynn Johnson)

Los Rios Community College District Chancellor Brian King spoke with the Current at Sacramento City College the day after the fatal shooting on the campus that left one student dead and two more injured.

The Current: “What is the district doing at this point in time to move forward from this?”

Brian King: “I think the first step will be to analyze the tragedy and the reaction and, first of all, to acknowledge there were a lot of heroic actions by students, faculty and staff and the first responders and to acknowledge those who responded incredibly well and then the next step will be to gather all the facts and see what can we learn and how can we keep these things from happening, to the extent we can and how to respond as quickly as possible when it does happen.”

The Current: “In the wake of the first shooting at a Los Rios school, are the schools coming together as a community?”

King: “We will, and we obviously want to learn what we can when something happens at one college to try and be proactive at all of the colleges. Everyone in the district is touched by this.”

The Current: “Are the procedures different from school to school for what to do in this situation or is there a standard?”

King: “For the most part, no. We have district-wide training and standards on response to coordinate.”

The Current: “I’m hearing that the alert message went out 40 minutes after the shooting happened. Is that the same alert system for all the schools in Los Rios or is it specific to SCC?”

King: “It is the same alert system, and one of the things we’ll want to look at closely is how to respond more quickly. It’s never quick enough, that whatever happens, the need to get the response out quickly is there—so that’s one of the things that we’ll examine: what can we do to speed that process?”

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Los Rios Chancellor Brian King addresses a crowd of Sacramento City College students, faculty and staff the day after a fatal shooting on the campus that left 25-year-old student Roman Gonzalez dead and two others injured. King called the shooting a "nightmare." (Photo by Barbara Harvey)

Los Rios Chancellor Brian King addresses a crowd of Sacramento City College students, faculty and staff the day after a fatal shooting on the campus that left 25-year-old student Roman Gonzalez dead and two others injured. King called the shooting a “nightmare.” (Photo by Barbara Harvey)

The Current: “Are you personally satisfied with how the school and how the police here have responded?”

King: “I’m proud of the response from our police force, and also from Sacramento police and fire, from our faculty and staff, many people were who didn’t know how great their risk was by putting themselves in harm’s way to help students and others get to the right place. So, I’m proud. Am I satisfied? I don’t think you can ever be satisfied with what the reaction is because you want it to get better. So, I think people did their job and did it well and it gives us an opportunity to revisit, with a live situation, policies and procedures and see what we can do with them?”

The Current: “Does that apply to all four schools?”

King: “It will. It will be a district-coordinated effort—looking at lessons learned from this tragedy to apply across the district.”

The Current: “How has this tragedy affected you personally?”

King: “Well, it’s your worst nightmare to find out that something has happened to one of our students on one of our campuses, and knowing the impact it has on the family of the individuals involved and the students, faculty and staff—that the loss of that feeling of safety is a huge loss. So, it’s a hard day.”

The Current: “Is there anything else that you would want students to know?”

King: “That safety is our number one priority for our students and we’re going to continue everything we can to keep the campus safe with the understanding that it’s impossible to anticipate everything that could happen, but we’re going to continue working hard as safety is our number one priority and we’re going to learn everything we can from this tragedy to make things safer.”

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