Taylor talks college shooting

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 18, 2015


He was working next door during Delta State shooting Monday

Delta State University associate professor Tommy Taylor was glad to be in Andalusia this week.

The husband of Andalusia native Donna Bush Taylor teaches family and consumer sciences at the university and was on campus this week when professor Shannon Lamb killed professor Ethan Schmidt.

Lamb was also suspected in killing his girlfriend, Amy Prentiss, in Gautier, Miss., and eventually took his on life as police closed in on him.

Taylor said he was in his office in the building directly across the street from where Schmidt was killed.

“When it all occurred, we went into lockdown,” he said. “I went outside and saw the police and the interaction. I was close enough I could have thrown a rock.”

Taylor said he did not personally know either of the professors.

Taylor said the building he works in houses the child development center and there were children on campus.

“They were the top priority,” he said. “We have infants to toddlers in there and we have students who work with them.”

Taylor said no one was allowed in or out of campus.

Taylor said he wasn’t necessarily scared.

“For me, there wasn’t fear so much as getting in the mode of doing what you have to do,” he said. “There was a lot of uncertainty. We just knew there was a shooting.”

Donna Taylor was in Andalusia when the shooting occurred, but was able to have a text conversation with her husband to make sure he was OK.

Taylor, who is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Mississippi, said the main thing everyone wants to know now is why.

“The bottom line, I think, it’s going to be a mental health issue,” he said. “This really just continues to point out that we have a mental health issue in this country and it needs to be addressed.”