News

Man dies from self-inflicted wound on Liacouras Walk

University officials said a man who reportedly committed suicide on campus was not a registered student, but may have been a former one.
At approximately 6:30 p.m. tonight, on the 1900 block of Liacouras Walk, on Main Campus, a man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, police have said.…

University officials said a man who reportedly committed suicide on campus was not a registered student, but may have been a former one.

At approximately 6:30 p.m. tonight, on the 1900 block of Liacouras Walk, on Main Campus, a man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, police have said. The incident occurred directly outside Maxi’s Pizza, Subs & Bar and 7-Eleven.

“We heard a bunch of people in the circle in the center [of Liacouras Walk] and all of a sudden we heard a fire cracker [sound],” said Christian Rossnagel, a senior advertising major, who was standing nearby at the time. “It didn’t sound like a gun; it sounded like a really loud fire cracker.”

Rossnagel said the victim appeared to be a white male. Various media reports suggest the man was in his 20s.

Students stood outside 1940, as police monitored and investigated Liacouras Walk. KATE McCANN TTN.

“There wasn’t screaming or anything,” said Anna Versage, senior anthropology and Spanish major, who was sitting in 7-Eleven at the time of the shooting. “Nobody was freaking out. It just happened.”

Nathaniel Fox, a senior geography and urban studies major, saw the victim fall to the ground.

“I heard a gunshot and I looked and just saw someone standing [upright],” Fox said. “Then he just crumpled and fell on the ground…he looked like a young guy, younger than me.”

 

The individual was not a registered Temple student.

“He may have been a Temple student in the past,” said Ray Betzner, assistant vice president of university communications. “We are going through our records now to try to determine what his history here has been.”

The university first issued a TU Alert at around 6:50 p.m., indicating that a shooting had occurred. A second alert was sent out shortly after 7 p.m., notifying the university that the scene was safe from danger.

According to witnesses, the man appeared to be alone at the time of the incident.

“There were a few people closer to him than I was who ran in the opposite direction,” Fox said. “I just jumped on the ground behind a retaining wall and called 911.”

Although Fox did not see a gun, he said the victim appeared to be holding something he could not identify.

Cops arrived on scene in less than 10 seconds, Rossnagel said.

Immediately following the shooting, Liacouras Walk was cleared for investigation.

Passing students gathered outside 1940 residence hall, along Norris Street, and on Polett Walk, as they awaited news and watched police officers scour the scene.

Liacouras Walk has since reopened.

“I’ll never look at that spot the same,” Fox said. “I never would have thought I would see that. In that split second I saw him die.”

Becky Kerner can be reached at beckykerner@temple.edu.

In light of this incident, the university has reminded students to take advantage of its counseling resources. Tuttleman Counseling Services is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The office accepts walk-in appointments and offers confidential meetings. Counselors can also be reached at 215–204-7276.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be contacted at 1–800-273-TALK.

[UPDATE: Click here for a follow-up.]

6 Responses to “Man dies from self-inflicted wound on Liacouras Walk”

  1. Jen

    The one time I went into Tuttleman needing to talk to someone immediately, she talked to me about what I was going through for about five minutes and then made me an appointment and ushered me out the door. Students, demand their time if you’re feeling desperate! My heart is with this young man and his family and friends…

    Reply
  2. Kathryn

    In response to the girls demanding more information: they need to understand that the police can’t just Google a head-shot of the guy to figure out whether he’s a Temple student, what his name is, etc. We as a community need to learn to be patient with the authorities– they have to analyze and cross-reference a number of things before declaring information. That they notified everyone of a shooting so soon (within 10–15 minutes, I think?) is pretty awesome.

    Reply
  3. temple

    Actually, it was close to a half an hour after the incident as documented in the article you just commented on. The alert did not give any details to let students know they were not in danger regardless of who the victim was until even later than that. Those twenty to thirty minutes that authorities knew there had been a shooting but had not alerted students are crucial on a campus especially considering that the incident happened in one of the busiest areas. If this had been an incident of another nature and there was a shooter who was targeting people on liacouras and had not been caught, that amount of time would allow tons of students without a clue to wander into an extremely dangerous area when they could have easily been told to stay away much earlier. I am not at all impressed with the timeliness of the TU alert system and I think if this had been a much more violent situation a lot of people could have been hurt simply because they would not have been told to stay away before it would have been too late. Although what happened is extremely unfortunate, we should be thankful no one else was hurt because it could have gone a lot differently and the alert system would have done nothing to help. It is unacceptable.

    Reply
  4. Danielle

    This is so very sad that someone was in such desperation to take their life. My heart goes out to them and their family.

    Reply
  5. anonymous

    6:51pm says my e-mail stamp. 21 min delay, at most, if the shooting was right at 6:30

    Reply
  6. anonymous1

    It seems like a situation where the guy may have felt lost after graduating. A lot of young people feel so alive and connected when they’re in school and just concentrating on being challenged, & being creative all day… then when they get thrust into the ‘real world’ of having to work some boring soul-sucking job just to pay your bills.… especially in the depressing work environment that exists nowadays.. the economy, etc.. he may have felt unfulfilled, and thinking ‘is this all there is?’ .… and may not have been able to cope with that. So he went back to the only place where he felt like he belonged to do what he did. If he had the additional crushing burden of huge student loans (like so many students have to deal with) it may have been too much. That’s just my guess though.

    Reply

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