Campus Lockdown Sunday
Monday, 30 April 2012 22:20
USAPD says that a student was robbed at gunpoint. A shot was fired; no one was injured.
The Vanguard was first on the scene to a movie-like situation on Sunday complete with heroism, fear and confusion. At approximately 3 p.m., a campus lockdown was initiated at USA due to a threat attributed to an individual that possibly had a deadly weapon. A Delta 4 residence hall student allegedly let two non-students into his room, and was then robbed at gunpoint.
Why he let the non-students into his room is not known at the present time. The two non-students then robbed the resident of $1,000 and a cell phone at gunpoint, and then fled, according to USAPD and Public Relations. One suspect was apprehended and taken away in a police SUV after USAPD searched Stokes Hall as well as Delta 4.
Armed with guns that looked like they were out of Modern Warfare video games, USAPD officers followed strict protocol in searching campus housing for the suspects. Officer Har walked into Stokes Hall with a tactical shotgun, as shown in the accompanying images as well as on our Facebook page in additional photos. One suspect is still on the loose, but not believed to be on campus at this time. Public Relations Director Keith Ayers encourages anyone with information to call 460-6312 to speak with USAPD about the remaining suspect, described by Public Relations as a “thin black male with a dark complexion and a short afro hair style.”
USA Chief of Police Zeke Aull increased the size of the safety perimeter after we were able to get pictures of the room searches at Stokes. Residents of Stokes were told to stay inside and diverted to another hallway, and adjacent classrooms within the residence hall. RA’s kept the students informed of what was going on for the entire five hours that the campus was on lockdown. The university library locked students in for safety, and cops were seen shouting to pedestrians to take shelter.
After the initial arrest, many students did not seem to take the continuation of the lockdown seriously, presenting a challenge for officers to deal with. Also on our Facebook album is an image of students sitting in a truck near the scene of the dorm search, even though students were told to stay inside. Local media arrived on scene as well to cover the search as it wore into the afternoon. CNN ran a blurb on their channel and media outlets such as The Washington Post and ABC also picked up the story.
A mass email was sent out, as well as sporadic messages to cell phones signed up through the USAAlert system, accessible through the USA Android and iPhone application, as well as warnsignup.com/usa. Assistant Professor Dr. Alan Chow of business told The Vanguard via Facebook that he signed up for USAAlert, but did not receive an alert. Ayers told The Vanguard that alerts were issued through the campus siren system, on the main page, and through campus email.
We will update more on our website as we learn details or have details confirmed. The chronology of events can be found on our Facebook page, The Vanguard, USA’s Student Newspaper.
View more images from this incident on The Vanguard's facebook page by clicking here.