MU grads working in Manhattan react to New York terror incident

1 year 1 month 2 weeks ago Tuesday, October 31 2017 Oct 31, 2017 Tuesday, October 31, 2017 7:37:00 PM CDT October 31, 2017 in News
By: Cameron La Fontaine, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

NEW YORK - MU alumni living in New York said they were shocked to learn about the terror attack in Manhattan that killed eight people and injured a dozen more.

2015 graduate Michael Sojka works about five miles from where the suspect drove a truck into a bike lane around 3 p.m.

"I heard like sirens, but I hear sirens here all the time so you’re kind of desensitized to it, so I didn’t think too much of it," he said.

Brenden Clark, a 2008 MU graduate, works inside the World Trade Center and said, initially, he didn't know what to think of the dozen emergency vehicles he saw.

"New York will sometimes do these drill things, so I thought it was maybe one of those dry runs with all of the emergency vehicles there," he said.

Liz Pierson, who graduated from MU in 2013, also works in the World Trade Center, but on the northwest part of the building where there was a perfect view of everything happening. 

"When we started hearing sirens, the first siren, we kind of went to the window and we watched maybe a couple dozen emergency vehicles over the course of five to 10 minutes show up and sadly we kind of had a front row view to this," Pierson said.

Sojka said he didn't realize how bad things were until he started to get "tons of texts from people asking me if I was okay."

"Then I looked more into it and then I saw Facebook had the 'mark that you’re safe' button and I was like 'wow this is actually a big thing,'" 

Pierson said co-workers began going around asking if people knew family or friends that would be in that part of town. 

"I had a friend that went into the subway near that street just two minutes before it happened, someone else had their mother near there at the time of the incident," she said. "Then your family and friends are texting and checking in, which is comforting but also kind of heightens the anxiety a little bit."

Once the news came out that the incident was terror-related, being in the World Trade Center created some more anxiety. 

"Being at the World Trade Center, it's sort of an iconic building and you know what happened so many years ago," Clark said. "I think a lot of people started to get real concerned as to what was going to happen for the rest of the day and a lot of us made the decision to start going home early."

The former MU students said they don't often get concerned about living in the highly populated New York City, even with all of the mass terror incidents going on in the world. Clark, however, said his behavior has changed a bit in the last two years. 

"As we see these incidents happening with the drivers going through crowds, things like that, it has made me a little bit more cautious or aware of certain areas of the city that are really high density," he said.

Sojka said the high police and security presence around the city has always made him feel more safe.

Pierson said she doesn't like to spend too much thinking about the "what ifs."

"Generally, no, I’m not worried about it," Pierson said. "I think that worry creates fear and I don’t want to be afraid of the place that I live."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - People gathered at Hickman High School on Saturday to celebrate holidays from several cultures. KOPN Community Radio... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 9:10:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia College had a special moment during the graduation ceremony Saturday to honor a student who died in... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 8:15:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Diocese confirmed Saturday three people were added to its list of clergy accused of... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:31:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A 19-year-old woman was shot Saturday afternoon near Aspen Heights Parkway, police said. At around 2:40 p.m.,... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 4:40:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Capitol has recently completed an effort to restore and conserve the building's... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 3:26:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - Anyone walking around Boonville might be able to play a game of "I spy" now that painted rocks... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 10:50:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- High school football teams from around the state will travel to Memorial Stadium for the next five years to... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 9:41:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in Sports
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke , who's facing federal investigations into his travel, political... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 8:53:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - The Southern Boone Area YMCA will build a new 15,714 square-foot facility in the next two years, if... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:48:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
ALTON, Ill. (AP) — Authorities are looking for a man who is suspected of fleeing to Missouri after officers shot... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:12:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A former county official from southeast Missouri already in prison on a conviction of exploiting the... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:09:52 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - The Holts Summit Police Department has offered to include New Bloomfield in its coverage area for the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 9:47:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A federal judge in Texas said on Friday that the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:12:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON - A new report released Friday ranks Missouri 48th in the nation for tobacco use prevention programs. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:08:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The South End Zone Project at Faurot Field is just over halfway through its construction timeline and people... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:46:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - Connie Cashion is the 2018 winner for the city's Jane Bierdeman-Fike Humanitarian Award. The award goes to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:16:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - A Fulton nonprofit surpassed their volunteer goal and is able to give over 400 children a Christmas miracle.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:52:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State Auditor Nicole Galloway will join the investigation into Josh Hawley's use of funds during his Senate... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:44:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
3am 31°
4am 31°
5am 31°
6am 31°