Feelings on SAU campus bittersweet for first day back - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Feelings on SAU campus bittersweet for first day back

Students went back to school Wednesday at Southern Arkansas University, just days after a star football player and an alumnus were shot to death. Students went back to school Wednesday at Southern Arkansas University, just days after a star football player and an alumnus were shot to death.

Wednesday was the first day of classes at Southern Arkansas University, where officials estimate more than 3,300 students, minus one, swarmed the campus.

That one, Brandon Hobdy, was enrolled for the year but he was killed early Sunday morning during a shooting at an off-campus party.

"But honest to goodness, it is a sad time," said David Rankin, SAU president.

Rankin said when studentsreturnedd to the Magnolia campus Wednesday there were counselors available to help them cope with the star football player's death, and that of Wayne Patton II, an SAU alumnus.

"And I think in spite of the events this weekend, I think people are coming together and we are working together as a family," Rankin said.

University officials said that for the most part, the day was a normal first day back, with students taking care of last-minute registration business and renewing friendships.

"I hope you have a good year," one teacher told a student.

But throughout the campus, the shooting was a topic of concern.

"I mean it is hard what happened, knowing somebody died on campus or died from the campus," said student Ember Bentz. "It isdefinitelyy on the mind."

Some students are still wondering why it all went down.

"They have been asking questions but nobody has any answers," said student Hallie Bowry.

One man, Byron Dunn of Magnolia, has been arrested for the crimes.

"Well, everyone seams conscious about it buy no one is really speaking about it," said student Gabrielle Davis. "But overall it seems quite positive. We want to keep the energy good and everything going well."

Rankin said Dunn's arrest helped make day one as normal as possible.

"And we have located some people who might be involved," he said. "I think that is a great step and it has made people feel a lot better."

Police are still not saying much about the shooting. They said the investigation is continuing and there could be more arrests made.

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