Firearm discharged off-campus at Crepe and Cream ; no injuries

Bee Goodman

Crepe Cream Shooting 

Tuesday, Feb. 13

University police responded to a 911 call that came from Crepe & Cream, reporting a gunshot. No one was injured, and the individual has been taken into custody.

Though a name has not been released, it is known that the individual is not a current student.

On 7th Street, Crepe & Cream employee Linda Frisbee made the emergency call. Police responded to the call and declared the situation non-threatening, as a fireman was discharged in a road rage incident. 

The individual, who has not yet been identified, fled Crepe & Cream and headed to the Burnett Fitness Center, where many students were when a university alert went off to warn campus. 

Senior communication major Sarah Aku was at the fitness center and stated, “If you were in this gym, there was a lot of emotional trauma caused from this situation.” Aku also noted that students receded to the locker rooms to hide. 

“Students were on the phone with parents, having anxiety attacks because no one understood what was happening,” Aku shares that the event has already caused emotional trauma to many. 

Frisbey pointed out a plant hanging from the ceiling and how the bullet tore leaves off as it passed over the heads of numerous customers and then hit the wall across the restaurant. The wall is adjacent to Victor’s Tacos.

Frisbey also noted that the window has spots from other unrelated incidents and informed that only one bullet was discharged in the event.

The incident was first reported as an accident, but Tech later reported that the suspect “deliberately fired their weapon towards an off-campus eatery near the university.”

Frisbey stated, “I had a customer sitting right here. Five or six customers, and two in the booth [along the wall where the bullet hit]. I’m so glad they weren’t standing up. If they had been standing up it would’ve gone right through their head.”

Frisbey also stated she was happy that everyone is safe and no one was hurt.

The event happened over the course of 30 minutes thanks to the efforts of the University Police. Their swift efforts ensure the safety of Tech’s campus and surrounding community.

They have shared information on the incident through tech email and encourage everyone to call 9-1-1 in the state of an emergency.

The incident has brought attention to how no one is automatically enrolled for the alerts and many think it’s time for a change. 

Once Tech police were notified of a firearm, they invoked a message to the emergency alert system that stated for the receiver to take shelter because of an emergency on campus. But not every person received the alert because students, faculty and staff are not automatically enrolled into the alert system. 

Students must go through Eagle Online and enroll in the system to receive emergency messages. While at SOAR sessions prior to beginning life at Tech, students were instructed to enroll in these messages. Unfortunately, many students forgot, changed their number, are not currently enrolled or simply do not remember the system even being mentioned.

Many students have stated that they only found out about the incident because of the “Tennessee Tech” Snapchat stories, collections of students in each grade level, which is not an official collaboration with the university. Many students also found out after the event had been deemed clear, with some even finding out two days after the event. 

The campus lockdown was only effective for a short time as the event occurred over an approximate 30 minute period. Officers did a great job in getting the situation under control at such a rapid pace. Tech police Chief Tony Nelson stated that he was glad the situation wasn’t worse and caused no harm. 

Nelson also stated that he wishes communication would’ve been better. A lot of room for improvement comes from the need for every person at Tech to be automatically enrolled in the emergency alert system. Better communication by having everyone already enrolled could save lives. 

Everyone can be alerted directly, rather than finding out through second-hand, unverified sources and social media. Luckily, no one was harmed in the incident and campus is safe.