Student Newspaper Accidentally Nabs Video of Campus Shooting Suspect’s Arrest

“Que pasa?” The question asked by the student journalist in Spanish amid the initial commotion and confusion caught on camera says it all.

Last week, a pair of staffers with the Tejano Tribune student newspaper at El Paso Community College nabbed what is by far this summer’s most hot-damn-wow college media viral video — accidentally.

In the wake of a campus shooting, Trib editors Jesús A. Rodríguez and Viridiana Villa were out and about at EPCC getting eyewitness-man-on-the-street-style reactions from students. By chance, one of the reactions they recorded was with the actual shooting suspect, 22-year-old EPCC student Chibuike Joseph Uke Jr. They just didn’t know he was the suspect at first.

What they did know: In front of the camera and with questions coming at him rapid-fire, Uke is noticeably, umm, awkward to the point of, well, squeamish. Then the cops show up. Uke seems to know their arrival is for him and almost immediately surrenders. After being cuffed, he is then calmly led away by officers, the Tribsters in pursuit and recording the whole time.

As Rodríguez tells the El Paso Times:

“We were almost leaving and we wanted to stay a little more to get more testimonies of people on video. We were just asking random people what they thought of the shooting. … [Uke] was giving really short answers. He looked nervous. How do you feel this happened in your college? He said ‘it’s bad’ and he was looking around. We talked for about a minute. He told us he was not there at the shooting. I guess he was lying. He was nervous. He was looking from left to right. … [When police approached] he didn’t even try to run or anything. He walked toward the police officers like he already knew he was going to be arrested. He was handcuffed, taken into the building and into the [police] offices. As a reporter, we didn’t have time to think. We just started to take video. It was kind of a shock.”

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Yowza. For those scoring at home, that’s a hearty helping of sheer serendipity, mixed with one seemingly dumb alleged criminal (now facing two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon) and sprinkled with some good old-fashioned journalistic chutzpah. In respect to the latter, kudos to Rodríguez and Villa for keeping the camera focused on the scene before them — even if they did not immediately understand what the heck was going on.

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