WILMINGTON — A Wilmington College student was struck by an airsoft gun pellet, reportedly resulting in a puncture wound, at an active-shooter seminar on campus Thursday.
The student, Jadie Riewoldt, told the News Journal she attended an active-shooting seminar, when two students walked in from the back door and fired airsoft guns into the crowd of students. She said she was a few feet away from one of the shooters as he made his way through the crowd.
Later, she said she adjusted her shirt, found that she was bleeding from a puncture wound, and left.
Now, she wants officials to take responsibility for the incident
Wilmington College spokesperson Randy Sarvis said the active-shooter training session was the last of five such events and the third one working with students. The other two sessions were for faculty and staff.
As far as he’s aware, Sarvis said no issues were reported with the other session.
“Wilmington College is providing active shooter training for its students, faculty and staff as a proactive measure should such an incident occur on our campus, as it has elsewhere,” Sarvis said, in a prepared statement. “The City of Wilmington police officer presented five sessions at the College, three of which were focused upon training students.
“The safety of our students is the College’s concern,” the statement continued. “The injured student, regrettably, did not come forward to discuss the incident with any staff member.”
Riewoldt said she used an app that only WC students and staff can access to post a photo of the injury with a caption saying she shouldn’t have to leave a school function bleeding.
“It got some response from students, but I had gotten nothing back from staff or faculty,” Riewoldt said, adding that she had been told the app was “a valid way to get a hold of higher-ups at the college.”
She also said she was approached by a staff member who asked about the injury, but she said that person didn’t take it seriously.
“I just want them to acknowledge that this is wrong and that it’s not OK to put students at risk without them being aware of it and to have guns, or simulated guns, on a college campus without advertising that or making students aware that that’s a possibility,” Riewoldt said. “They should take responsibility for not checking with the presenter and knowing what the presentation contained and what was to occur that night.”
Riewoldt’s father, Dirk Morgan, said he wants other law enforcement agencies, too, to not get a similar idea. He said you don’t harass women in a seminar about sexual harassment nor burn children with matches to teach them about fire safety.
“It’s just ludicrous,” Morgan said, adding that the pellets used can injure eyes and penetrate skin. “It’s scary. They’re just real fortunate that there weren’t any worse injuries to my knowledge.”
Morgan also said he wants to know who was responsible for the decisions made.
“I think a line was crossed when guns were given to students” and included in the seminar, Riewoldt said. “I was expecting to go in and hear a lecture, see a PowerPoint, that sort of thing.”
Riewoldt said she believed multiple other lines were crossed as well.
“Hopefully we’ll get some answers and people will be forthright about what happened,” Morgan said. “Nobody should be pass judgment (on the officer involved). He has the right to tell his side of the story. And we would like to hear that, believe me, because there’s nothing in my mind that justifies what happened in the room on Thursday.”
Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand said Riewoldts hasn’t contacted police. Weyand also said he’d reach out to Wilmington Law Director Brett Rudduck to seek guidance on how to proceed.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.