Local students react to shooting

Published 9:38 am Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday was Cicily Chiarito’s lucky day.

The Vicksburg resident and a sophomore at Delta State University, Chiarito decided to wait until Monday to head back to school.

However, those plans would change when a little after 10 a.m. Monday an armed subject entered Jobe Hall on the campus of Delta State and shot and killed Ethan Schmidt, a history professor, in his office.

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The campus remained on lock down most of Monday while officials searched for the suspect in the shooting.

“I’ve only know what I can read on the Internet,” Chiarito said Monday afternoon. “None of my friends that are on lockdown know any more than that.”

She said her friends at Delta State were simply told to stay where they were and to stay away from windows.

Chiarito is the daughter of Vincent and Dr. Susan Chiarito and is studying nutrition and dietetics at Delta State and is a graduate of St. Aloysius

“I’m feeling lucky I didn’t drive back this morning, but I’m sad this is happening,” she said.

Chiarito said she did not know Schmidt.

Alexis Patterson, a Warren Central High School graduate, is a junior at Delta State, transferring there this year from Hines Community College in Raymond.

“I had a class at 11 and was talking to my mom on the phone, so I didn’t see my alerts,” Patterson said. “I walked into the building and went to the classroom, but the lights were off and no one was there. I went and sat down on the couch in the hallway and that’s when I read my alerts. I freaked out and ran to my car and left.”

Patterson said on the drive back to her apartment, she saw a number of police vehicles from a variety of Mississippi counties.

“There were lots of cops from different counties. I thought that was good,” she said.

Patterson is studying wildlife biology. She is the daughter of Mike and Cindy Patterson of Vicksburg.