A Zoom discussion about the University of Texas alma mater song being racist turned dark when a masked man appeared in the discussion, loaded and then brandished a gun.
The song, "The Eyes of Texas" has ties to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, making its debut at a minstrel show. University of Texas School of Journalism Director Kathleen McElroy wrote an editorial in the Austin American-Statesman last year noting that the song has been interpreted as embracing "UT's devotion to The Lost Cause, the revisionist mythology of the antebellum South."
According to NBC News, organizers thought that Martinez must have seen the man with the gun because they put professor pinned onscreen.
"A screenshot provided to NBC News late Tuesday shows a man wearing a beanie, with a bandanna covering much of his face and only his eyes showing. He is holding the firearm with both hands in front of his chest," said the report.
University police said that they are investigating and wouldn't comment.
Martinez alerted university police, who said they are investigating but would not comment further.
The group that hosted the discussion, The Orange Jackets, is a group that focuses on service and includes UT Austin veterans and celebrities, so it isn't exclusive to existing students.
"I think this kind of violence made me realize that this isn't just an argument between students about a song," said Orange Jackets' director Irene Ameena. "It's traumatizing to see someone loading a gun in front of you."
The gun was described as a KelTec KSG 12-gauge shotgun.
"It's certainly frightening to see someone with a tactical shotgun when you're just talking about a song," Professor Martinez told NBC. "I guess to many people it's a symbol of Texas or things they value. But at the same time, we are just talking, so it's shocking to see anyone wearing a mask and brandishing a weapon in a threatening manner."