North Lake College students return to campus, remember victim of shooting

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IRVING -- Students were allowed back on campus at North Lake College Thursday morning, to retrieve belongings left behind in Wednesday's chaos.

The campus was locked down for over an hour and a half after an apparent murder/suicide that took the life of 20-year-old student Janeera Gonzalez.

"It was a weird feeling coming back," said North Lake student Valeria Sanchez, "because she's a high school friend and I won't see her around anymore, and we were graduating in two weeks."

"I was in the cafeteria when I heard the gunshots," Sanchez added. "I left my laptop and everything, but I didn't look back because I didn't care."

The campus will be closed - and classes canceled - until next Monday.

Folks on the staff say the campus is secure, and that the response from law enforcement was swift, and comforting.

"Within moments," said North Lake's president Christa Slejko, "We could tell by the first responders arriving on the scene that this was not a drill."

"We plan for this, we drill for this," said Lauretta Hill, the police commissioner for the Dallas County Community College District. "The students and faculty did a fabulous job under the circumstances yesterday by following the drill and the plan that we already had in place."

Of course, no drill could prepare the friends and family of the shooting's victim for their sudden loss.

"I was shocked," said Sanchez. "She was such a sweet girl... It shouldn't have been her."

"That is at the core of what we're thinking about," Slejko said. "We're thinking about her, we're thinking about her family.  We want to do right by her."

It's still unclear why the shooter - identified as 21-year-old Adrian Victor Torres - targeted Gonzalez before taking his own life.

Meanwhile a GoFundMe page to help the family has already more than met its goal, as a community comes together to pick up the pieces and mourn the loss of one of its own.