Bridgewater College students, alumni urge peers to take care of mental health after shooting

Bridgewater College students, alumni urge peers to take care of mental health after shooting
Posted at 9:03 PM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-03 05:19:58-05

BRIDGEWATER, Va. -- Students and alumni of Bridgewater College came together on Wednesday to form a choir of healing after a shooting killed two campus officers.

"It felt healing," Bridgewater College junior Shiffa Tewari said.

Tewari was one of the dozens that came together to sing their alma mater.

"The sound was so rich and full of love," Tewari said.

A reminder of why they came together to sing stood just feet away. Crime tape and police officers continued their investigation on Wednesday after a shooting on Tuesday left two officers dead.

"I can't even explain the fear and just paralyzation," Tewari said.

She said she was walking outside on Tuesday afternoon when she got the alert reporting an active shooter on the campus. When sirens started going off, she knew she had to take cover.

"So I ran into the building downstairs to the campus store and they let me in," Tewari said.

Once safe in the store, she called her parents to reassure them that she was okay.

"They always tell you, text your loved ones, and it doesn't feel real until you actually have to do that," Tewari said.

She said the two victims of the shooting, campus officers J.J. Jefferson and John Painter, were both beloved by students. She knew Painter personally.

"He'd always wave and say hello to students," Tewari said.

The accused gunman, 27-year-old Alexander Wyatt Campbell, is facing five felony murder charges, including two counts of capital murder.

On Wednesday, Campbell went before a judge for the first time virtually. He was given a court-appointed attorney who wants to arrange a mental health evaluation.

Janita Daggy graduated from Bridgewater College in 2007. Now a mental health professional, she came back to provide resources and counseling to those who are traumatized.

"It's coming back to help a family in a time of need. Making sure you're taking care of yourself, making sure you're using your coping skills and your problem-solving skills," Daggy said.

"Please talk to your friends. We are here for you. This community is here for you. We always will be," Tewari said.



Watch 'The Jennifer Hudson Show' weekdays at 3 p.m. on CBS 6!

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.