ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Classes resumed Tuesday at Stevens Institute of Business and Arts in Downtown St. Louis, one week after a student allegedly shot an administrator in his office.
“It feels a little different, a little weird but just talking to the teachers and the counselors, they help you out a lot,” said Niko Drake, who is studying business administration at Stevens. “I`m excited to be back.”
At Stevens Institute, students learn the sorts of things associated with gracious living, like interior design and fashion, so dealing with the gritty aftermath of a shooting is a new and strange experience.
“I feel completely safe, it is just one of those things that happens,” said Shannon Armentor, the school`s Director of Marketing.
It was about 2:00 P.M. on January 15, when Sean Johnson, 34, a part-time student with a history of mental illness and violent criminal behavior, entered the school and allegedly argued with— and then shot Director of Financial Aid Greg Elsenrath with a stolen gun.
Apparently Johnson also shot himself, but survived. Both men are still hospitalized.
Counselors have been brought for students and staff who feel they need help coping with the situation.
“It has been very stressful but you do what you have to do and what I have to do is get everybody back here to the school they love,” said school president Cynthia Musterman.
She also said discussions are underway about how to improve security, though the school wants to be careful in its approach.
“We want to do something that is appropriate, we don`t want to be in a lock down prison type of atmosphere,” Musterman said.
“People love this school because it is friendly and people know each other and because they feel safe here so (we won`t) just knee jerk and put things in place and make everybody feel safer when an analysis needs to be made first,” she said.
Student Tamika George said she was apprehensive about returning to the school, but she is making the adjustment.
“We know we need to be here to finish what we are tying to get accomplished,” she said.
“We are a little shook up, but we`ll be alright.”