November 16, 2011: Thousands of anti-Wall Street protesters were gathered for demonstrations against steep interest rate hikes and reduced funding for universities when a shooting occurred inside the University of California’s Haas School of Business. There has been no connection reported between the shooting and the protest so far.
According to early reports, although there was only one victim, up to 10 shots were fired.
UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulov on the steps of the Haas School of Business talking to reporters at 3:45 pm today. Photo: Lance Knobel
In an official statement, UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof confirmed a shooting incident having occurred at the Haas School of Business."All students and faculty have been evacuated. The victim, who is also the suspect, who was brandishing a weapon, has been transferred to Highland Hospital and is under police custody,” he said.
The shooting didn't however deter some 2,000 students and Occupy demonstrators who had gathered at the University’s Sproul Hall to protest against the hike in tuition fees and to vote on a list of demands and await a speech about class warfare by UC Berkeley professor and former U.S. Labor Secretary, Robert Reich.
Twenty-eight year old, graduate student Daniel Rodriguez, speaking with Associated Press said “If the only people who can come here in the future are those who have money, it's going to hurt everyone's educational experience.”
In a press conference, following the shooting incident, the Haas School of Business Chancellor, Robert Birgeneau and UC Berkeley Police Chief, Mitch Celaya described the events that led campus police to shoot a man wielding a gun in a computer lab.
“I cannot tell you how sorry I am that we are having this press conference,” Celaya said while addressing reporters who gathered at California Hall for a news briefing. He called the shooting “very upsetting,” but added he was pleased with how peaceful student demonstrations had been earlier in the day.
Chancellor Birgeneau issued a statement to the students and Occupy demonstrators, saying the university leadership shares in their anger and frustration over relentless tuition hikes and the growing burden on their families.
"We all share the distress and anger at the State of California's disinvestment in public higher education," Birgeneau said.
Over the past three years, the cash-strapped state has sharply reduced funding to California's public colleges and universities, which has led to steep tuition hikes, course cutbacks, staff layoffs and reduced student enrollment.
By BrainGain staff reporter with wires