A college professor who shot himself on the second day of classes this fall said he shot himself in protest of President Donald Trump.
The incident occurred at about 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 28 as classes were beginning for the second day of the semester at the College of Southern Nevada, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Sociology Professor Emeritus Mark J. Bird allegedly went into a bathroom in the K building of the college’s Charleston campus and shot himself in the arm.
Several college employees and at least one student saw Bird stumble out of the bathroom bleeding and collapse, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
The police report said witnesses claimed to have heard “a loud noise,” but none of them realized that Bird was armed with a gun and had actually shot himself.
One employee of the college told police that he’d held the professor’s hand to help calm him down while they waited for an ambulance to arrive. He said others tried to stop the bleeding, according to the police report.
The police report said that while they were waiting for help to arrive, the professor emeritus told those around him that he had shot himself in protest of President Trump.
College of Southern Nevada police said they found a $100 bill taped to the mirror inside the bathroom along with a note that said “For the janitor,” according to the police report.
Officers recovered a black and white .22-caliber pistol and one spent shell casing from the bathroom floor after they arrived, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Students and faculty were unhappy about the college’s handling of the incident.
Only a brief alert was sent out to students via text and email at about 8:47 a.m., with little detail included and no follow-up.
“CSNPD investigsting (sic) person in Charleston (sic) K building bathroom with injuries. Firearm recovered, medical here, Scene is safe,” was the entirety of the message shared with the campus population, according to an email to Blue Lives Matter from College of Southern Nevada Spokesman Richard Lake.
The president of the college’s faculty union, Robert Manis, spoke out on Tuesday and expressed concern about the lack of transparency following the incident.
“They never really told the students much about it except that it was resolved on the actual day of the shooting,” Manis told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “When you don’t give the full details, then rumors go crazy. It’s unfortunate because it made the students and faculty very afraid and allowed rumors to proliferate.”
He said he’d heard a number of different versions of the rumors in the two weeks since the shooting occurred.
Court records showed that Bird was charged with discharging a gun within a prohibited structure, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, and possessing a dangerous weapon on school property. He was ordered held on a $50,000 bond.
Bird was initially placed on a 72-hour hold for mental health observation, a staff member of the Clerk of Court’s office told Blue Lives Matter the day after the shooting.
Lake said that Bird was still employed by the university as a professor emeritus as of Tuesday, according to The Washington Times.
He told Blue Lives Matter via email that Bird had been employed by the College of Southern Nevada since Aug. 23, 1993, and remained employed in the Department of Human Behavior on the Charleston Campus after he shot himself in a campus bathroom.
Lake told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that it remained unclear what disciplinary action, if any, would be taken against the professor for discharging a firearm on campus.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
September 12th, 2018