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Virginia Tech Shooting Survivor Introduces Campus Safety App

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Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — She survived a massacre. Now a young woman is trying to save others.

Alex DeMetrick reports out of the mass murders at Virginia Tech comes a victim with an idea that might help prevent a similar tragedy.

The 2007 spring semester came to an early, bloody end at Virginia Tech when a student shot and killed more than 30 students. Kristina Anderson was shot three times in her classroom.

“It happened very quickly. We had no warning. It lasted for what felt like forever,” she said.

Anderson recovered from her gunshot wounds. In the time since, she has made a study of the killer and his earlier actions.

“It’s one of the scariest, most life-altering experiences of my life and always will be,” she said.

And it’s led Anderson to co-found Livesafe, a free mobile app connecting students to campus police departments.

“They report tips. We have the most commonly reported suspicious behavior, threats,” she said.

The University of Baltimore is among the early adopters of the Livesafe app. An urban campus in the heart of downtown, there is a lot of foot traffic as students mix with non-students–a challenge for any police force.

“We ask everyone to act as an extra pair of eyes and ears for us and let us know what’s going on,” said University of Baltimore Police Chief Samuel Tress.

The Livesafe app also ties into 911 centers, providing real time GPS coordinates of the caller during an emergency.

Seeing suspicious behavior and reporting it might have made a difference at Virginia Tech.

“Even before he opened fire, people knew he was a potential threat. He was stalking girls and a lot of times we have that gut feeling that this is not correct but we don’t really speak up because we don’t feel it’s really that big a deal,” she said.

Until after it happens.

Because the Livesafe app is brand new to the University of Baltimore, Anderson will meet with students Thursday to introduce the free service. Click here for more information.

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