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Las Vegas professor protests Trump by shooting himself on campus

College of Southern Nevada Cheyenne campus (ZooFari/WikiCommons)
September 14, 2018

A sociology professor and emeritus faculty member from the College of Southern Nevada has been charged with discharging a gun within a prohibited structure, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, and possessing a dangerous weapon on school property.

Mark J. Bird, 69, faces felony gun charges after he shot himself on school property in protest of President Donald Trump. Around 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 28, Bird was found outside of a bathroom in the Charleston campus K building with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his arm, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Police found a black-and-white .22-caliber pistol and one spent shell casing inside of the bathroom. They also discovered a $100 bill taped to the mirror with a note that said, “For the janitor.”

On Aug. 28, several college employees and a student saw Bird exit the bathroom, bleeding and then collapsing. A call to 911 was made, however, it was not clear to anyone that Bird suffered from a gunshot wound.

One college employee, who was assisting Bird until help arrived, said Bird admitted he shot himself to protest President Trump.

A campus-wide alert was issued at 9 a.m. the day of the shooting to inform all students that the firearm had been recovered and the campus was safe.

Bird’s preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 17 in Las Vegas Justice Court.

Although Bird was not on the schedule to teach during the fall 2018 semester, he has been employed with the college since Aug. 1993.

The college said they are uncertain if — or what kind of — disciplinary actions would be taken against Bird. They are not disclosing any additional information about the incident. As of Tuesday, he was still employed with the college.

Robert Manis, who is president of the college’s faculty union, the Nevada Faculty Alliance, said he has heard several rumors about the shooting in the last two weeks. He stated concerns about the college’s lack of transparency following the incident.

Manis said: “They never really told the students much about it except that it was resolved on the actual day of the shooting. When you don’t give the full details, then rumors go crazy. It’s unfortunate because it made the students and faculty very afraid and allowed rumors to proliferate.”

The only mention of the incident was a short mention buried in the monthly newsletter mailed out by the college president.

Federico Zaragoza, the new college president concluded his newsletter with: “I appreciate all of the expressions of concern and interest, and I pledge to keep everyone updated should the situation change.”