Longtime College of Southern Nevada (CSN) sociology professor is now facing felony gun charges in connection with an on-campus shooting on the second day of class where he actually shot his own arm in protest of President Trump.
The 69-year-old professor, Mark J. Bird, was charged last month with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, discharging a gun within a prohibited structure, and possessing a dangerous weapon on school property, according to court records.
Bird was found bleeding from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his arm around 8:15 a.m. on August 28th, the second day of classes, right outside a bathroom in the Charleston campus K building.
The professor taped a $100 bill to a mirror in the bathroom, along with a note that read, “For the janitor,” which was quite possibly the only time Bird did any thinking whatsoever during the incident. A black-and-white .22-caliber pistol and one spent shell casing was found on the bathroom floor.
Witnesses told police they heard a loud noise coming from one of the bathrooms but that they had no idea Bird was armed, let alone that he had shot himself in the arm, police reports indicate.
“One college employee told police that he held Bird’s hand to calm him down as others tried to stop the bleeding. While waiting for authorities to arrive, Bird said he had shot himself in protest of President Donald Trump, police noted in their report. The report did not elaborate,” The Review-Journal reported.
A campus-wide text alert went out around 9 a.m. that morning to faculty and students letting them know that the firearm had been recovered and the scene had been cleared.
A CSN blog entry in the lengthy September edition of “The Chronicle” mentions the incident, but did not go into details:
“We have received several inquiries surrounding the shooting incident on the Charleston Campus last week. I want to let everyone know that the CSN Police Department has concluded its investigation. An emeritus professor was treated for a self-inflicted injury in the hospital and subsequently arrested and charged with possessing a weapon on campus and other charges. I appreciate all of the expressions of concern and interest, and I pledge to keep everyone updated should the situation change. Please know that if your department would like an individual safety review with the CSN Police Department, you may email Chief Darryl Caraballo at [email protected].”
The Review-Journal reported one college employee told police that he held Bird’s hand to calm him down as others attempted to stop the bleeding.
While waiting for authorities and medical help to arrive, Bird told the group now gathered around him that he had shot himself in protest of President Donald Trump, police noted in their report, without any further details.
Robert Manis, president of the college’s faculty union-the Nevada Faculty Alliance-told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he had heard several rumors about the shooting since it occurred and that he was concerned about the way the college handled the shooting as well as the lack of transparency afterward.
“They never really told the students much about it except that it was resolved on the actual day of the shooting,” he said. “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.”
Bird was hired August 26th, 1993 and was an emeritus faculty member when he decided to shoot himself in the arm, according to spokesman for CSN, Richard Lake, although Bird was not scheduled to teach any courses in the fall 2018 semester.
As of Tuesday, Bird was still employed with the college and disciplinary actions-if any would be taken against the professor at all-remain unclear.
Bird’s preliminary hearing is set for September 17th in Las Vegas Justice Court.
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