Student Testimony – Marcus Young

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Photo by Taylor Finelli.

Marcus Young: Pre-Business Major, First Year Student

On behalf of Jackson Scott’s COM 101: Section 1002 class, I express the horror we felt in Beam Hall on Dec. 6. It was not like any other day on campus, we were saying our goodbyes as it was our last lecture for classes that built a second family, our BUS 103 and COM 101 class. For some background, a majority of the students from BUS 103 shared the same COM 101 class. As students were presenting their final presentations, something extremely strange happened. The piercing sound of the fire alarm shook the entire building, and we all sat in confusion. A majority of the class was grabbing their stuff to leave, and a crowd at the door starts to form as we meet with our neighboring class to find out what is going on. I am standing in the back of the crowd, and then it hits me. These five words in the hallway flipped a switch in me almost instantly, “There is an active shooter.” Immediately, I grabbed a crowd of my friends and hurried them to the back corner of the classroom. Scott handles the situation perfectly by locking the door and shutting off all devices in an instant. As I am holding the hands of my classmates, laying in front of them and letting them cry on my shoulder, I tried my best to keep peace within the room. From across the classroom, I start to check in with my other classmates through group chats by providing reassurance. The screaming, banging and shots heard throughout the hall are sounds we, unfortunately, will never forget. Cries are muffled around the room as the fire alarm still goes off, and then the door is suddenly kicked down. With nobody making a sound or a movement, I am the first one to slowly raise my hands and stand up for my classmates. Thankfully, LVMPD was at our door to evacuate our room, and we began to run for our lives. As we physically remove ourselves from the terrors in our hall, all the emotions start setting in. We are in group hugs calling our loved ones and struggling to form sentences as we are all in shock. I checked my phone to see any media coverage, and to see my feed covered with words like “UNLV Beam Hall shooting” gave me the coldest feeling.

It is frightening enough to see such news broadcasted nationally, except this time it was us being broadcasted. We were truly blessed to stick with each other and handle this situation together. For one of the best semesters of my life to end in such a tragedy is truly heartbreaking, but it taught us the value of life at the end of the day. May the families of the victims be protected and guided by the grace of God, and may those who experienced or were affected by this situation come together and positively move forward through such a tragedy. Never hide your feelings; it is okay to not be okay.

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