Timing of Lone Star College campus security alerts questioned

Some students say they never received alerts from campus until long after stabbing began

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Following a second attack on a Lone Star College system campus students were again questioning whether the school's security alert system functioned properly.

"Our phones for a while were cut off, we couldn't use them," student Jon Paul Clayton said.

As chaos washed over Lone Star's Cy-Fair campus students scrambled for safety and answers as to what exactly was happening.

Some students said they received a security alert from the college via text message within minutes of the initial calls for help.

"I got texts telling me to listen to the professor and stay in the classroom, don't be walking around," a student told Local 2.

However, others students complained they did not receive any alerts from the campus until long after the stabbings began.

"We didn't get the text he got until much later, the one that the college sent out," said Clayton.

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said the first call to 911 was received at 11:12 am. Campus officials said its police department's dispatch received the first call for help at 9:13 am.

Officials with Cy-Fair EMS said they received the first call for help at 11:17 am.

Some students posted pictures of the campuses' alert to students on Twitter that showed the alerts were not received until 11:54 am and 11:55 am; more than 40 minutes after the initial call to 911.

During a news conference, Lone Star College's Senior Vice Chancellor Rand Key told reporters security alerts were sent to students "immediately."

But when Local 2 Investigates pressed Key for more specifics he declined to comment.

"No more comments at this time," Key said.

"We're just trying to get a time frame of when the alerts went out," said Local 2 Investigator Robert Arnold.

"No more comments at this time," said Key. "More of that will come later as more details unfold."

"When later?" Arnold asked. "I mean you have to have a record of when the alerts went out, I mean it should be easy for you to grab. We're getting complaints from students they didn't get the alert, or they didn't get the alert until after, we're trying to deflect that if that's not the case."

"It's an ongoing investigation, more details will follow," said Key. "That's all I'm going to say, thank you."

These same questions plagued campus administrators following a shooting at a different Lone Star campus in January. Campus officials told Local 2 the alert system during that incident did not reach all students on a timely basis and promised to make improvements.

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