With the national media spotlight on them, two Gonzaga University roommates put on school probation for violating a weapons policy said they’ll appeal the sanction.
Seniors Erik Fagan and Daniel McIntosh faced suspension or expulsion after one of them chased an aggressive intruder from their apartment at gunpoint. Instead, they’ll remain on probation for the rest of their time at Gonzaga, the university informed them Sunday by letter.
“It was a little bit of a surprise,” Fagan said Sunday. “We’re happy that we are still here at Gonzaga. Our objective was to remain here because we do love this school and love being here.”
But he and McIntosh plan to appeal their probations, he said.
“That information is going to be on our educational record, and anytime we go for a job interview and show them our transcripts, that information will be on there,” Fagan said. “We don’t feel like we should be punished just for defending ourselves.”
McIntosh, 23, chased a man demanding money from the doorstep of their Logan Neighborhood apartment Oct. 24. Afterward, university security guards confiscated his 10 mm Glock pistol after the incident and also took a hunting shotgun belonging to Fagan, 21.
Students are not allowed to have guns in their homes if they live on campus or in a university-owned apartment. Fagan and McIntosh were charged with four violations of university policy. The university discipline board Friday found them responsible for two violations: possessing weapons on school grounds and putting others in danger by the use of weapons.
The controversy has spread via social media and news reports, and Fagan and McIntosh were preparing for interviews to air Monday on “Good Morning America” and “Fox and Friends.”
Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh weighed in over the weekend, saying the episode opens the door to “thoughtful evaluation” of the firearms policy and campus safety.
The university said it can’t comment on the discipline, citing student privacy laws.
The students live at 207 E. Sinto Ave., an off-campus apartment building owned by Gonzaga.
At 10:15 p.m. on Oct. 24 the two heard a knock on the door. Fagan, believing it was a friend, opened the door to find a man demanding money. He offered the man a blanket and can of food, but the man became agitated and combative, Fagan said.
Fagan shouted for McIntosh, who came running downstairs with his loaded Glock and drew on the stranger, who then took off.
The students called police and campus security. McIntosh told an officer he’d chased the man off with his pistol and that he has a concealed weapons permit.
Much later that night, campus security returned and confiscated the pistol and shotgun, which have not been returned. Fagan and McIntosh reported them guns stolen to Spokane police.
Fagan said he believes the weapons ban makes sense on campus, including student dorms, but not for off-campus housing.
“Living off campus in apartments where it isn’t as safe, I think everyone should have the right to defend themselves,” he said.