SPOKANE, Wash. ― Gonzaga University has agreed to review its weapons policy as two students who used a pistol to drive an intruder from their apartment appeal their probation for having guns in their university-owned accommodation.
“As a Jesuit institution dedicated to thoughtful evaluation of complex social issues,” Gonzaga will use the incident to re-examine its policy, President Thayne McCulloh said in a weekend statement.
The university informed the students, Erik Fagan, 21, and Daniel McIntosh, 23, over the weekend they were on probation and could be suspended or expelled for any more violations of the Spokane university’s code of conduct, The Spokesman-Review reported. Gonzaga should consider student safety above all else, said their lawyer, Dean Chuang.
“We’re glad that it didn’t have to end in tragedy for them to consider changing the policy there,” Chuang said. “Our boys were armed and stopped a home invasion here.”
A homeless man came to their door Oct. 24 demanding money and trying to force his way inside.
Fagan offered the man a blanket and a can of food but refused to hand over any cash, he said. The man became agitated and combative.
Fagan shouted for McIntosh, who came downstairs holding a loaded 10 mm Glock pistol.
“I draw on him,” McIntosh said. “As soon as he sees me, he decides he doesn’t want to deal with me. So he takes off.”
The men called police and campus security. Fagan has a concealed weapons permit, he said.
Campus security returned the next day and confiscated McIntosh’s Glock and Fagan’s shotgun, which he uses for hunting and sport shooting.
The men say their guns were seized illegally and are seeking to have them returned.
They say they are glad they weren’t expelled, but they are appealing their probation because they don’t want the sanction on their school records.
Students are not allowed to have guns in their homes if they live on campus or in a university-owned apartment. The university discipline board on Friday found Fagan and McIntosh responsible for two violations: possessing weapons on school grounds and putting others in danger by the use of weapons.
The man who went to their door, John M. Taylor, 29, is a six-time felon, said police spokeswoman Monique Cotton. His crimes have included riot with a deadly weapon, possession of a controlled substance and unlawful imprisonment.
Officers responding to an initial report of a residential burglary found him in the area, Cotton said. He was jailed on an arrest warrant from the state Department of Corrections, she said. Typically that means a person under department supervision has violated terms of release. Taylor was no longer on the jail roster Monday.
Calls to the Department of Corrections were not immediately returned on Monday and there was no answer at the Spokane County Public Defender office, which might represent Taylor.