Letter to the Editor
Student with Airsoft Rifle Apologizes to Campus
Dear Students and Faculty of UC Irvine,
I am writing to you in order to apologize for the lockdown and other events that transpired on Wednesday, May 20 on the UC Irvine campus. I owe an apology to everyone who was directly and indirectly affected by my actions.
I was picked up at school around 1:30 p.m. to go play airsoft with a few friends. I walked out of my dorm and was consequently seen with my airsoft rifle as I walked to the Mesa Court parking lot. We left the campus and entered an area with no cell phone service. We were engaged in our airsoft game, completely unaware of the events that were taking place on campus. It was only when we were finished and returned to the cars that we viewed our cell phones with the Zot Alert and numerous other messages alerting us about the situation. I contacted the police immediately, went to them directly, was questioned and ultimately released.
My release in no way excuses my disregard for campus policy and the unease that my actions caused my fellow students. No one should ever have to walk around worrying about whether or not they may be in danger. We attend universities and colleges to further our education and to become intelligent individuals who make intelligent and level-headed decisions. My decision to walk to a car holding my airsoft gun was absolutely foolish.
To the students and staff, I absolutely apologize for causing you any unease or fear. I am very sorry that the students were prevented from leaving their classrooms as the police searched for me. With cases such as Columbine and Virginia Tech resting uneasily in the back of the minds of the administration, faculty and students of UCI, it is actions such as mine that allow anxieties and fears to resurface. It is with great embarrassment and remorse that I ask for your forgiveness.
To Matt Fritz, the man who was detained earlier in the day by police, I am deeply sorry. I have heard a few accounts of what happened to you and I am so sorry that you were so directly affected. I would also like to apologize to Chancellor Michael Drake, who had to make the decision to lock down the school.
I hope my actions will not reflect poorly upon my coach, teammates or any other group I am affiliated with, as my action was not representative of them. I am sorry that the school had to use costly resources in order to locate me due to my careless mistake.
I respect the freedoms this institution has to offer each and every one of us: the freedom and right to feel safe and secure no matter where we are on campus.
Again, it is with great regret that my actions caused the situation on Wednesday and I hope those of you affected will accept my sincere apology and that we can move forward from this event.