Las Vegas professor arrested on felony charges for shooting himself on campus
A liberal college professor has shot himself on the College of Southern Nevada campus as a protest against Donald Trump’s presidency.
The 69-year-old sociology professor, Mark J. Bird, is facing felony gun charges in connection with an on-campus shooting on the second day of classes.
Bird was charged last month with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, possessing a dangerous weapon on school property, and discharging a gun within a prohibited structure, newly released court records show.
He was found bleeding from a self-inflicted gunshot after shooting himself in the arm around 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 28 outside a bathroom in the Charleston campus K building.
Bird shooting himself is the latest in what appears to be a trend of extreme anti-Trump protests.
Earlier in August, Liberal pop star Madonna uprooted her entire family and moved out of the United States in favor of socialist Portugal because she wants to “protest Trump” by leaving his country.
Inside the bathroom, campus police found a $100 bill taped to a mirror along with a note that said, “For the janitor,” according to Bird’s arrest report.
On the floor of the restroom was a black-and-white, .22-caliber pistol and one spent shell casing.
The sociology professor was hired Aug. 26, 1993, and was an emeritus faculty member at the time of the shooting, college spokesman Richard Lake said.
Bird was not scheduled to teach any courses during the fall 2018 semester.
Bird was employed with the college as of Tuesday, although Lake said it was not clear what disciplinary actions, if any, would be taken against him.
A 911 call was made after several CSN employees and at least one student saw Bird stumble out of the bathroom, bleeding before he collapsed, the report said.
None of the witnesses — who later told police they only recalled hearing “a loud noise” — initially knew Bird was armed and had shot himself, according to the report.
One college employee told police that he held Bird’s hand to calm him down as others tried to stop the bleeding.
While waiting for authorities to arrive, Bird said he had shot himself in protest of President Donald Trump, police noted in their report.
The report did not elaborate.
A campuswide alert was sent about 9 a.m. the day of the shooting, deeming the scene safe and alerting students that the firearm had been recovered.
Except for a short mention in the lengthy September edition of “The Chronicle,” the college president’s monthly newsletter emailed to staff, the college did not disclose any more details about the shooting.
The brief update was at the bottom of the newsletter and did not name Bird as the suspect. Federico Zaragoza, who in August was named the college’s ninth president, wrote at the end of his newsletter, “I appreciate all of the expressions of concern and interest, and I pledge to keep everyone updated should the situation change.”
On Tuesday, Robert Manis, president of the college’s faculty union, the Nevada Faculty Alliance, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he has heard a number of rumors about the shooting in the last two weeks. He expressed concerns about the way the college handled the shooting and about its lack of transparency afterward.
“They never really told the students much about it except that it was resolved on the actual day of the shooting,” he said. “When you don’t give the full details, then rumors go crazy. It’s unfortunate because it made the students and faculty very afraid and allowed rumors to proliferate.”
Lake declined to comment further Tuesday, but he noted that college officials met with faculty and staff immediately after the shooting to provide support and to take suggestions.
Bird’s preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 17 in Las Vegas Justice Court.