Following a shooting in a parking lot at Eastern Florida State College, school officials took an unusual step — they are now allowing guns back on campus.
The shooting occurred Thursday, when a student was brutally attacked by two men near his car. The student, Landrick Hamilton, 24, was able to retrieve his firearm from inside his vehicle and shot one of the men in the chest, according to Orlando NBC affiliate WESH.
The man who was shot, Amado Contreras, 25, was hospitalized and is listed in fair condition.
At the time of the incident, firearms were not allowed on campus. The college announced Tuesday that it was now reversing its no-gun policy in the wake of the shooting, as long as weapons are kept secure and out of sight inside cars.
Eastern Florida’s students have largely applauded the change.
“I saw the guy getting beat down,” student Rio Gonzalez told WESH. “The gun practically saved his life.”
“If someone feels like they’re in harm’s way, they have the right to defend themselves as citizens,” student Trevaria Cole agreed.
Although he was in violation of school policy at the time of the shooting, Hamilton will not be punished, according to WMFE radio.
“We’re glad to work with him to get him back going in his studies,” college spokesman John Glisch said. “He remains a full-time student, and he’s not facing any type of disciplinary action.”
The college’s policy change, not yet finalized, was also prompted by the threat of a lawsuit, according to WMFE, which reported:
Meanwhile the gun rights group Florida Carry filed a Lawsuit Monday challenging the college’s policy prohibiting guns on campus.
Glisch says the college was already working on a policy change to bring it in line with a ruling from a case involving Florida Carry and the University of North Florida.
Watch the news report via WESH.