A Yale University student arrested earlier this week after allegedly firing a gun into the ceiling of his fraternity house and later found in possession of a cache of weapons and ammunition now faces six criminal counts as well as an academic suspension.
David Light, 21, was firing gunshots in the basement of the Beta Theta Pi house at 3 a.m. last Friday when a visitor heard the shots and ran downstairs to investigate. When the visitor, Christopher Keefer, arrived downstairs, he saw Light alone and wielding a pistol, according to police reports.
He told Light, who had been drinking heavily that night, to put his gun away, but the Yale junior refused and fired two more shots into the ceiling. He told Keefer that he was only firing blanks, but an argument ensued, and Keefer asked Light to prove that nobody would get hurt.
"Why don't I point it at your head to find out?" Light allegedly replied.
Keefer retreated and left the house. On Monday afternoon he reported the incident in a statement to the Yale University Police Department, and Light was arrested later that evening, according to a police affidavit.
Light has been charged with two counts of illegal possession of an assault rifle, unlawful discharge of a firearm, reckless endangerment in the first degree, threatening in the second degree, and breach of peace in the second degree, the university said. He has also been suspended from Yale at the direction of the university's president, Richard Levin.
Light had an extensive collection of guns on campus, and when he was arrested police also seized an AK-47 assault rifle, AR-15 assault rifle, two rifles, a shotgun, several pistols and 4,000 to 5,000 rounds of mixed ammunition, according to New Haven police. Ammunition and "a supply of various chemicals" were also seized, according to Yale.
While Light did have permits for "long guns" like rifles and shotguns, he did not have a permit pistol, according to the affidavit.
Students who know Light said the Yale junior was a good student who seemed normal and was not a misfit at Yale. In addition to being a member of the Beta fraternity, he also excelled in extracurriculars, serving as president of Chabad at Yale, a Jewish student organization. He also briefly played for the rugby team earlier on in his time at Yale.
"He is a good student and a good friend, and I hope that this mistake doesn't ruin his future," said Adam Metzger, the treasurer of Chabad. "I hope this blows over for David's sake."
Many students who knew Light were aware that he had a collection of guns on campus. Though it did raise some eyebrows, before this incident nobody found it disconcerting enough to warrant a report to administrators, said one Yale student who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
This is especially noteworthy given the "fairly low tattling standards at Yale," the student said. "In my freshman dorm, being a heavy metal fan was enough to get one kid reported to our [administrators] as possibly dangerous."
The student said classmates did not see Light as particularly threatening or as having any plans to hurt other students with the guns.