The security manager in the thick of Monday's turmoil at the Australian National University has joined ANU chancellor Julie Bishop in venting fury that the man who allegedly stabbed two students had access to the campus.
"I'm wanting answers as to why we had to go through that," the ANU's security operations manager, Lucas Owen, said.
"It's something I need answering in my own mind for the safety of this community but also my own piece of mind. I was angry, frustrated and upset.
"I'm seriously not impressed that my staff and my students had not been made aware."
Mr Owen was echoing the dismay of the university's chancellor Julie Bishop that the man on leave from a mental health facility was able to access the campus.
"I was so angry that there was relevant information that was not passed on to the university," Ms Bishop said.
"Had we been informed by the relevant authorities that there was the possibility that this person could be in the vicinity of our campus, or could enter our campus, we could have increased our security."
Mr Owen was very active throughout Monday's events at the oval next to the Chifley Library.
The two seriously injured students were about a hundred metres apart, being tended by paramedics and by ANU staff.
For just short of half an hour, it wasn't clear that a perpetrator or perpetrators weren't still free and bent on murderous mayhem.
"It was a hectic scene," Mr Owen said. The one concession to the tension of it all was to say: "That period felt like an hour and a half."
His colleague Joe Ducie, the ANU's security manager, said that members of staff were also heroically involved.
He said that an office worker at the university was told to get away from the scene but saw one of the injured people and said, "I'm going to see if she's OK."
"He saw the girl on the ground, wounded and he said, 'I'm not turning away'."
Both the security men are very matter-of-fact about the events. They deal with difficult situations all the time, was their attitude, and this was just another one.
Mr Owen is a former military policeman. He also worked for security in schools in Victoria so he has that military calmness in a crisis but also experience of difficult civilian situations.
"I've had hundreds of incidents," he said. "I've been to gang fights. I've been to stabbings. I've been to serious incidents in schools. I've been to fires where buildings have been destroyed."
Both the security people emphasised that procedures were set for dealing with difficult situations. "It's not a panic. It's simply going into operational mode," Mr Owen said.
There are levels of seriousness, ranging up to Level 4 which involves events like bomb attacks. Monday went up to Level 3 (where there are or may be multiple injuries). It was still Level 2 on Thursday.
To the security people, it was all in a day's work - another incident coming from nowhere that had to be dealt with.
In 2019, the ANU campus on the south coast had to be evacuated during the bushfires. Hail damaged thousands of cars at the ANU in 2020. And then came the coronavirus.
"We limped out of hail and went into COVID. This place was hit by three incidents within a month. We reeled from one to the other," Mr Ducie said.
As Monday afternoon unfolded, Mr Owen was on the scene, making sure that victims were in good hands and then working out what the route of the perpetrator might be. The man was arrested by police and ANU security people then policed the taped-off crime scene.
That involved important tasks like simply turning off the sprinklers so evidence was preserved.
For the security people, the incident came and went. The questions remain.
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