UAH campus reopens after deadly shooting

By Monica Rix - bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Monday was the first day back for students, faculty and staff at UA-Huntsville, ten days after a tragic shooting on campus. Three biology professors killed, three others seriously hurt and another behind bars for allegedly opening fire on them all.

Everyone getting back to class, but hardly back to normal.

"Class went on like it normally did," said Bailey Smith, a biology major at UAH and student of Dr. Adriel Johnson. She says the last time she saw Dr. Johnson was in class, one hour before the department's faculty meeting, where he and two other professors were shot and killed, three more seriously injured.

"We never saw it coming," she said.

Neither did any of Johnson's other students.

"Knowing I don't have a teacher now for that class, I just don't know what to expect," said Jaclyn Harmeyer.

"It's a little uneasy going back, but we have to get back," added Robert Tate.

But students aren't the only ones having to deal with the loss. Faculty and staff members say it'll be tough for them too, knowing their colleagues are hurt and gone, another in jail, accused of pulling the trigger.

"It's impossible to understand, hard to process and important to move forward," said James Miller, chairman and professor of Physics at UAH.

"There's a hole in the campus, there's a hole in our hearts. We've all got to mend that in our own way," said UAH President, Dr. David Williams.

Their main concern though-- helping students heal, with the help of dozens of counselors already on campus.

"I have a ball of nerves in the pit of my stomach and don't know what to expect when I walk in there," said Smith. She says the class Dr. Johnson taught won't be until Friday and won't be looking forward to stepping into that classroom.

Dr. Williams says it will take time for the biology department and everyone here at UAH's campus to heal. But, they are making strides to move forward.

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