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Monday, November 27, 2023

Don't Bring Your Guns to Gonzaga

     In the fall of 2013 Gonzaga University students Erik Fagan and Daniel McIntosh resided in a university owned off-campus apartment complex in Spokane, Washington. The seniors at this Jesuit institution were good students who had never been in trouble with the law or the school. But thanks to an uninvited and unwelcome visit to their apartment by a total stranger that all changed.

     On the night of October 24, 2013 John M. Taylor, a 29-year-old man with six felony convictions that included drug possession, unlawful imprisonment and riot with a deadly weapon, knocked on roommates' apartment door. When Erik Fagan answered the knock he encountered a black man who boldly asked for $15. Not feeling comfortable giving a stranger money simply because he asked for it, Fagan offered Taylor canned food and a blanket.

     Rather than accept the gifts and walk away, Taylor entered the apartment and demanded the money. At this point, with an intruder in the dwelling who wanted cash, Erik called out for Daniel McIntosh.

     Fagan's roommate entered the room carrying a loaded 10 mm Glock pistol. The sight of the firearm was enough to prompt the intruder's prompt retreat from the apartment.

     While running a potential robber out of their apartment by exhibiting a gun was the right thing to do, reporting the incident to the campus police department turned out to be a mistake.

     The roommates were visited that night by officers with the Spokane Police Department accompanied by Gonzaga security personnel. After receiving a description of the intruder police officers took John Taylor in for questioning a short time later.

     If Fagan and McIntosh thought they had acted responsibly and could move on they were wrong. Gonzaga administrators, now aware that two of their off-campus students were living under the same roof with a firearm, were horrified. Possessing that weapon violated the school's zero-tolerant policy of no guns on campus owned property.

     Rather than wait for daybreak, several campus police officers, at two that morning, rousted Fagan and McIntosh out of bed.

     Gonzaga officers not only confiscated Daniel McIntosh's pistol, they seized Erik Fagan's shotgun.

     McIntosh's firearm had been given to him by his grandfather. The student, in complying with the law, had acquired a state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon. Fagan possessed the shotgun because he liked to hunt.

     On November 8, 2013 a panel of university personnel at a disciplinary hearing found Fagan and McIntosh guilty of possessing guns on school property and putting others in danger.

     The guilty students, due to public outrage over the university's handling of this case, were placed on probation. The boys probably would have been expelled.
     As for John Taylor, he was not charged. In the weird world of academia, John Taylor, the criminal, was considered the victim.

1 comment:

  1. Whackademia---correct term, Jim...Gonzaga success on the basketball court blurs chuckelheads running the school...