MURFREESBORO, TN – Calling apartment shootings “a large part of the fabric that holds this community together,” James Deal, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at Middle Tennessee State University, announced that incoming freshman would take part in an apartment shooting simulator during CUSTOMS student orientation in the fall.
In recent months, Murfreesboro has seen a sharp increase in violent shootings, highlighted by recent shootings at apartment complexes near MTSU, such as Student Quarters and Gateway Apartments.
“Every year, people pay thousands of dollars for entertainment that is exciting, riveting, and sometimes frightening,” noted Assistant Dean Deal. “The rampant shootings at low-cost campus housing give our students all of that excitement without the exorbitant price tag.”
According to Deal, every shooting incident allows the residents of an apartment complex that is fortunate enough to be riddled with bullets to enjoy a trip outside under the stars, a community of friends also forced out of their homes, and a lights show from local police, fire, and emergency services. On some evenings, this traumatic experience may also include the mystery of whether your loved one will survive or not.
In the Apartment Shooting Simulator, incoming students are invited into a dark room and allowed enough time to fall asleep peacefully and naturally. After a short time asleep, participants are suddenly and unexpectedly interrupted by gunfire and forced into a cold parking lot in the middle of the night.
“It’s a great way for students to get to know each other,” said Deal, who pioneered the program, “and a great way for students to get to know Murfreesboro, the lovable college town that just keeps on shooting.”
The Tribune reached Mayor Sugar Shane McHarland for comment, who emphasized that local elected officials are taking this matter very seriously and are going to have meetings to discuss potential resolutions, such as wagging fingers at bad actors and outlawing violent crime.