On Monday morning, Carly Reeves woke up to UF alerts regarding a gunshot outside her dorm at Murphree Hall.
The 18-year-old nursing freshman who just arrived at UF for Summer B immediately called her parents at about 9 a.m. to tell them what happened. When her mom got a hold of her, she told Reeves her heart dropped when she heard how close the shot was to where her daughter sleeps at night.
Reeves’ call to her parents came about six hours after Clay Shanks, 25, pulled a gun out of Sarah Gooden’s purse and fired it in the air outside of the UF dorm, University Police Department spokesman Maj. Brad Barber said. No one was shot.
The two are believed to have been at a Midtown bar before walking to their car in the Murphree Hall parking lot at about 2:30 a.m., Barber said. Neither Shanks nor Gooden, 21, are affiliated with the university.
Before the shot went off, a UPD officer saw Shanks was in a physical fight with another man, according to a report. Shanks then grabbed Gooden’s purse, pulled the gun out and fired a single shot.
Shanks dropped the gun and ran despite the officer telling him to stop, according to the report. He was caught within about 10 minutes and asked police for water because the taste of Jagermeister in his throat was making him sick.
Within the same timeframe, Gooden picked up the gun, got inside a car and drove south on Buckman Drive. She was found shortly after with the gun inside her purse on the front driver’s seat.
UPD arrested Shanks on charges of battery, shooting a gun on school property, using a gun under the influence of alcohol and resisting officers without violence. He was taken to the Alachua County Jail where, as of press time, his bond has not been set.
UPD also arrested Gooden on charges of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and tampering with evidence. She was also taken to the Alachua County Jail where, as of press time, her bond has not been set.
“It’s literally right outside my window,” Reeves said of the shooting. From her corner dorm’s window, she could see reporters interviewing other students throughout the morning and early afternoon.
But Reeves said despite the shooting, she isn’t scared. Crazy stuff happens, she said, and people just have to be careful.
Most of the people Reeves talked to were sleeping when the gun went off, except one of her neighbor’s friends who heard it and assumed it was fireworks.
Barber said he hopes this will serve as a reminder for students to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately.
Neither Barber nor Gainesville Police spokesman Officer Ben Tobias can recall a shooting of this nature in recent history.
Although unrelated to the shooting and not prompted by the event, Barber said UF is conducting an emergency exercise Thursday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The exercise will involve volunteers with simulated injuries, fire departments, law enforcement agencies and other public safety personnel.
[A version of this story ran on page 1 on 7/27/15]