Haas Newsroom


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Dear Members of the Berkeley Haas Community,

We are extremely saddened by yesterday’s events at the Haas School, which as you know involved the shooting by police of a man carrying a gun in one of our buildings. When something terrible happens, something impossible to understand, communities grieve as individuals and they grieve together.  This is what we are experiencing as a community now, and it will likely continue for some time.


This morning we were shocked to learn that the suspect with the gun was Haas undergraduate student Christopher Travis, 32, who died later at the hospital as a result of his gunshot wounds. This will make the processing of this incident even harder for us all. No one else was injured in the incident. 


There is still much we do not know right now, but we will keep you informed as more details become available from the police.
Here is how the UC Berkeley Police described the incident:


Tuesday afternoon, a Haas staff member in an elevator in a school building noticed a man with a gun in his backpack. The suspect got off the elevator at the 3rd floor, but the staffer continued to another floor and alerted a senior official what she had seen. UC police were called immediately and arrived in minutes.  Officers found the suspect in an online learning lab just off of the school’s computer center. The suspect pulled a gun out of his backpack.  There were other students working in the room.  When the man refused to drop the weapon after being warned several times to do so by police, one of the officers fired at the suspect.


We are grateful to our staff members and police officers who responded so quickly and acted to keep others in our community of students, faculty, and staff members safe. 


This is a tragic event and it is normal to experience a range of emotions as a result. Members of the UC Berkeley’s Tang Health Center will be at Haas all day today in room F593 to assist our community through this difficult time. Beyond that, Counseling and Psychological Services for Students are available 24/7 at 642-9494; Care Services for Faculty and Staff are available at 643-7754. We encourage anybody who wishes to speak to them to do so. Tang Center counselors will also speak to undergraduate classes today to lend their support and answer questions.   They are also meeting with groups of staff members and others during the day.  Here is a link to more information http://www.uhs.berkeley.edu/home/news/haas.shtml


The safety of our community is among my highest priorities. It is an essential precondition for what we are all doing here together at Berkeley Haas. While we view this event as an anomaly and unlikely to occur again, we are taking every precaution to make certain our security systems are as good as they can be.  We will immediately be increasing the security presence in the buildings and will be reviewing how we can enhance our entire security system over the longer term. I will keep you updated on our progress.


As I told a gathering of several hundred students, faculty and staff this morning, our mission and values define us, provide us meaning. We make meaning in our lives where there is meaning to be made. What happened yesterday only hurts. But there is meaning in our community. There is meaning in the ideals we serve. This is a resilient community whose members know they are much stronger when they work together.  I encourage you to find support and reassurance in each other in the coming days and weeks as we seek to make sense of this tragic event.



Rich Lyons, Dean 
Haas School, UC Berkeley
Twitter: @richlyons


UC Berkeley Newscenter:


Update on Tuesday’s shooting at UC Berkeley


Haas School community saddened by events of Nov. 15


UC Berkeley shooting suspect, identified as a student, has died