Another day, another college shooting. In these all too common events its easy to forget that the feeling of safety we have can easily be shattered. No one is safe in these events, no matter how hard we try to stay out of it or want to hide or think this can’t happen to us, there is always a chance.
If the shooter has a goal it is almost impossible for them to be stopped and you won’t even know what happened until the moment strikes…
Sound Of Silence
They say sometimes that you hear the bullet that gets you. That you know that this is the one that is coming for you and that will be the end. It is hard to know if any of that is true or not, maybe you never hear it, maybe that is the better way to go. We can’t really ask anyone about it, it isn’t like anyone lives to really tell the story.
Napping on the job
When police found Ron, he had already been shot when they found him on the ground, dead in his print shop. You can wonder if he heard it, the bullet coming toward him from the gun. Maybe he heard the footsteps of the attacker approach or the cocking of the shotgun. Maybe it was silent in the moment before and he never processed any of the noises.
What We Know
All we can know for sure is that Ron, at age 44, was shot dead at the school print shop where he worked by a former co-worker. Maybe the whole thing was nothing, just another one of those statistics of school shootings that seem to happen all the time.
Or perhaps there was something more to this. A motive, a reason, some sort of rationale that might exist to explain the death of Ron in his print shop on a Monday morning on what was otherwise a fairly quiet and ordinary day in Florida. All that we do know for sure are some simple facts.
A Nice guy
At the time of his death, Ron was 44 years old and he had been an employee of the college for some time. He was generally well-liked by the faculty, other campus personnel, and even the students who worked with Ron at the print shop. As the head of the print shop, Ron was in charge of not only other faculty but of work-study students as well.
Getting through school
It was due to one of his work-study students that all of Ron’s trouble sadly began. Kenneth Morgan Stancil was one of Ron’s former employees. As part of his financial aid packet, Kenneth was awarded by Wayne Community College in North Carolina a fixed amount of money that goes toward his tuition and bills so long as he works on the campus.
Help is needed
It was in this capacity that Ron and Kenneth met each other, Ron got an extra pair of hands around the shop and Kenneth was in a better position to afford the degree he had been seeking. Much to the dismay of Ron however, Kenneth wasn’t all that good of an employee. He was frequently late or just didn’t show up to work at all.
So in March, Kenneth was let go from the shop. He just wasn’t a reliable enough employee for Ron to keep around, and he just couldn’t depend on him to get the work done. Something must have triggered Kenneth after he was told that he no longer had a job at the print shop.
The Crazy 88’s
He became unreasonably angry and couldn’t seem to let it go or maybe he just didn’t want to let it go. On a weekend in April Kenneth gave himself a tattoo. The number 88 on his left cheek just below his eye. The following Monday he took his motorcycle to campus, walked up to the building that housed the print shop, climbed to the third floor, and fired a single round into Ron, killing him.
Run Run Far
Kenneth immediately fled before the cops were able to arrive. The campus was placed on lockdown but Kenneth had no intention of harming anyone other than his former boss. By the time the police arrived Kenneth had already long since fled and the search to find him was on.
About 80 miles south of Wayne’s Goldsboro campus along I-95 police recovered Kenneth’s motorcycle abandoned on a median but there was no sign of him anywhere nearby. While police began to search for him, a few of them went to his house to found any clues as to why this tragic moment happened.
Long Story Short
Kenneth left behind a 6-page letter and a video explaining his motives, though police have not released any of that footage to the general public as of it. His mother, Debbie, however, told officers, “He was verbally inappropriate with Morgan at school. Very much verbally inappropriate, he would tell him to stop and he kept on.”
The college knew of no complaints lodged against Ron and couldn’t backup what his mother had said to the officers. The manhunt for Kenneth only lasted a day as he was reported to the local police of Daytona Beach the next day having been found asleep on the sand.
When police arrived to arrest him he was found with a large knife on him but no sign of the suspected murder weapon. Luckily he went with police quietly and was taken back up to North Carolina to be tried and investigated. Police aren’t exactly sure how Kenneth even managed to get to Florida having abandoned his bike 420 miles to the north.
During his arrest and arraignment police noticed the tattoo that he had given himself just this past weekend. The 88 on his face worried officers as that has become a symbol of neo-nazism and although Ron was white, he was also gay and a good target for the well-established hate group.
Just a Poser
In his defense, his mother argued that Kenneth wasn’t actually a neo-nazi, he was angry, but the tattoo is new and he was likely more of a wannabe than anything else. He was a troubled kid, having lost his father to suicide in 2009. It changed him, how could that not, but he had maintained good grades and was doing well, or so everyone assumed.
When Kenneth appeared in court for the first time to stand trial for what he had done he made a number of odd and outlandish statements to the judges and lawyers present. He told the court that Ron was a bad person, that he had sexually assaulted a relative of his and that there is one less child molester in the world now.
In private, and on the record, Kenneth’s mother told everyone that she knows for certain that what Kenneth says can’t be true about the sexual assault as the relative in question and Ron had never met before. She feels that her son must be rattled and confused, but knows what he did was wrong and that he needs mental help because he seems out of his mind.
Took it poorly
The coordinator of the educational support facilities, Brent Hood, remarked on the incident to the associated press. “I guess from my point of view, Kenneth was angry over getting dismissed from his duties, he worked very well with Ron; he worked very well with my other employees.”
Hard to feel safe
No verdict has been made yet regarding the murder of Ron, and as of now, the judge has denied Kenneth bond forcing him to remain locked up while the investigation continues. In the meantime, police and investigators are still looking for clues and answers, and the college as a whole in trying to recover from what is becoming a common event nationally.