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University students deaths in Virginia, Idaho raise safety concerns in Missoula

University of Montana Campus Missoula
Posted at 8:51 AM, Nov 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-15 13:21:27-05

MISSOULA - The deaths of at least seven university students over the weekend, including four in Idaho, had several members of the Missoula City Council on Monday expressing thoughts and concerns about campus safety.

Council member Jennifer Savage, who works at the University of Montana, said the deaths of five University of Virginia students has campus members talking about safety in an era where gun violence has become common.

“It was a tough day to be on a college campus today,” Savage said. “There were two incidents on either side of the country. I was grateful to be there (at UM) and for all the students to be safe today.”

At the University of Virginia, a 22-year-old student and former member of the football team shot and killed three active team members as they returned from a field trip.

Two other students survived the shooting and were hospitalized.

At the University of Idaho, four students were found dead in what police there say was an apparent homicide.

Two of the students were 20 years old and two others were 21.

Few other details have been released, according to the Idaho Capital Sun.

“Having a child away at college and having one on her way, it's a sad day for the universities,” said council member Amber Sherrill. “It makes me think a lot about mental health, mental health funding and gun control.”

A number of gun incidents have occurred at the University of Montana over the years.

Most recently, a student brought a gun into Aber Hall and fired the weapon several times from his dorm window.

University of Montana officials said the student would face criminal charges and disciplinary actions pending an investigation.