Public Safety determined that a stray bullet from Highway 580 struck and punctured a student’s window in Warren Olney Hall on Feb. 23. The bullet went through a student’s window and grazed the wall of her dorm room, but no one was injured.
The room in question, number 237, is located on the second floor of Warren Olney Hall in the Social Justice Living Learning Community, facing the freeway. The student affected was not available for comment.
According to some of the student’s hall mates, she and several of her friends believe they heard the gunshot as they were walking to Founders Commons Wed evening.
“We heard the shot, but we were like ‘whatever, it’s Oakland,’” said first-year Kelly Dingman, who was walking with the student that night.
When the student returned to her room, she found glass everywhere and plaster on the floor from where the bullet had grazed her wall, according to Dingman.
The student called Public Safety, which responded by contacting the Oakland Police Department.
Dingman and Chavez both hope there will be more done to prevent these kinds of incidents in the future.
“Maybe they should put in double pane windows or bullet proof glass,” Chavez said.
Director of Public Safety Michael Lopez said the college is not planning on implementing any repairs or additions such as bulletproof glass because of the expense it would involve.
“The cost for these types of repairs are very expensive,” Lopez said.
Linda Zitzner, the Assistant Vice President of Facilities, said expense is not the college’s main concern, but that campus facilities is trying to determine the risk of this kind of incident happening again in the future before implementing preventative measures.
“This is the first incident of its kind,” Zitzner said, noting that she and others involved in risk assessment on campus do not have a lot of information about the recent incident, making it difficult to determine what the college should do next.
Zitzner said that the facilities will determine within the next month the immediate risk of an incident like this happening again.
In addition to the uncertainty of the college facing a similar incident again, Lopez noted that in order to ensure protection against future stray bullets, the college would have to bulletproof every outside-facing window.
“We find projectiles like this all over campus,” Lopez said.
Lopez said that it was very likely the bullet had deflected off of something else before entering the student’s room because of the amount of damage that was sustained.
Mills College has offered the student whose room the bullet entered an alternative room in Orchard Meadow Hall.