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Texas A&M University-Commerce shooting: Second incident roils students

COMMERCE, Texas — Shilo Hutton’s emotions are roiling. She’s a student at a college in the spotlight for a rarity: two deadly shootings, one on campus and another off, in the span of three months.

“Our school really wasn’t this before,” says Hutton, a junior at Texas A&M University-Commerce, where a gunman this week killed two sisters and injured a 2-year-old toddler in a campus shooting.

The news late Tuesday night of an arrest in the case, and a police statement saying that the latest shooting is “a targeted, isolated event,” gave some relief to students at this university in East Texas. But students say the repeat violence is unsettling.

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Freshman Jonathan Garcia is trying to make sense of it. “I’m safer at college because I know some people that are my friends, but I’m scared, too,” Garcia said outside of the campus’ student center.

Law enforcement officers gather outside of Pride Rock residence hall following a shooting, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, at Texas A&M University-Commerce in Commerce, Texas. (Juan Figueroa/The Dallas Morning News via AP) ORG XMIT: TXDAM402

Few students were milling about on campus Tuesday because the university canceled all classes and events through Wednesday as the investigation forged ahead into the shooting. Unease, worry and even fear were circulating beneath the placid surface of the well-kept college, cropping up throughout social media.

It’s not the first time bullets have hit home here. Just over three months ago, a gunman opened fire at a homecoming party in nearby Greenville at a non-university event.

Two were killed and six were injured in the mass shooting. The gunfire triggered chaos in the crowd of hundreds of panicked party-goers.

Cafeteria worker Exavier Davis, 33, stopped on his way to the college gym Tuesday afternoon to ponder the violence in Greenville.

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