IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – North Lake College opened today for the first time since a murder-suicide on campus last week. Classes on the Irving campus were cancelled after a gunman shot and killed 20-year-old student Janeera Gonzalez, before turning the gun on himself.
A memorial for Janeera continues to grow in front of the school. As students and teachers headed back to class counselors and therapy dogs were on campus to help those still grieving.
Making the transition back to a normal routine could be more challenging for some, especially considering it is the end of the semester. North Lake President Dr. Christa Slejko explained, “Not only are they trying to come back and get comfortable at the college again, but they’ve got to be immediately focused on their finals.”
It was last Wednesday when Adrian Torres shot and killed Janeera before taking his own life. Classes were immediately cancelled for the week, but days after police did escort students to pick up any belongings they left behind during the evacuation.
Some people witnessed the campus shooting, while others ran, hid or were evacuated by SWAT officers. With classes resuming many students expressed concerns about their safety. “People deal with these kinds of emotions and situations differently,” Slejko said.
For some students a once familiar walk to class was filled with unease this morning. Student Shani Miller admitted, “I just felt a little hesitant coming in. It feels kind of weird just because something so traumatic like that happened.”
Lauretta Hill, police commissioner of the Dallas County Community College District, said officers are committed to doing all they can to try and prevent another tragedy like this. “We always look at what we did, what we did well and what we can approve on and part of that is always looking at staffing to make sure that we are adequately staffed,” she said.
When the college resumed normal operations today there were additional Dallas County Community College police officers on the campus. The added security will be in place at least through the week.
A vigil for Janeera Gonzalez is being held this evening. The remembrance will take place at Irving High School, at 900 O’Connor Road, and begins at 7:30 p.m. President Slejko said the college is also planning a vigil that right now is scheduled for Thursday night.