A Tense First Day for UTEP Students

Monday, August 23, 2010 - 9:05pm

EL PASO- A window, once made of glass, is now covered up with wood.  The original pane was smashed by a stray bullet Saturday night.

Police say it probably came from across the border.

It's most likely a round let off during the firefight over the weekend between Mexican Police and the cartels.

How the bullet made it from Juarez onto the UTEP campus is both interesting and improbable.

Screaming up Wiggins Road, the bullet raced by the library, and sliced through trees.

It finally slammed into a door, shattering the glass at the South Entrance to Bell Hall.

This bullet marks the second time in two months a round has made it over the border fence. 

City Hall got hit by strays in late June.  Students are worried.

We stopped one student as she walked across the same path the bullet took Saturday night.

"I mean anyone could just be walking by and a bullet can just hit anyone, not just a window and that's pretty scary," says Tanya Rico, a junior at UTEP.

Oscar Lopez agrees.  "That's scary.  Could be me, could be anyone of these people going around here," he says.

Other students don't know what the solution is, but say it starts with local government.

"We have to do something here in El Paso to prevent that from happening again, definitely,"says student Paul Barroso.

Some call Saturday's events inevitable.

"When you're so close to the cartels, it's going to happen.  When you're so close to that bordering country, it's going to happen," remarked veteran and first-year student Greg Simmons.

The common student emotion isn't so much fear, but anxiety. 

They worry the next bullet could do worse than shatter glass.

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