Cincinnati Gunman Forces University Students To Stay Inside

Thursday, 07 Nov 2013 07:04 AM

By clyde

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University of Cincinnati students were ordered to stay inside Wednesday afternoon as campus police responded to a report of a gunman in the area.

University officials opened campus back up after authorities searched Proctor Hall on campus and the nearby vicinity shortly after 3:30 p.m., when there were no more signs of the Cincinnati gunman, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Police told the Enquirer that witnesses spotted the suspected gunman outside of Procter Hall, in the 3100 block of Vine Street, heading towards Short Vine. Authorities told the newspaper that the school did not go into an official lockdown, but advised its students to stay in their rooms.

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WCPO-TV, though, reported that the precaution was as partial shutdown of campus. The television station said authorities never identified the alleged gunman.

Mario Scalora, Andre Simons and attorney Shawn VanSlyke wrote in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin in 2010 that since the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, university authorities and local law enforcement have faced scrutiny on how they handle reports of gunmen and potential violence on college campuses.

"Campus police departments have come under increasing pressure to address targeted violence and related threatening activity," they said the FBI article. "College and university grounds often are porous, vulnerable to various types of threats from both internal and external sources. The campus safety professional must deal both reactively and proactively with these numerous threats."

Sometimes being proactive can have mixed results. Central Connecticut State University officials are being questioned this week for their reaction on Monday to a student dressed in Halloween costume. The student, who turned out to be a son of a faculty member, said he wore the costume because he could not fit it into his backpack after returning to his dorm from a party, according to the Huffington Post.

The Post reported that officers from Connecticut State Police and the university, New Britain and Newington police departments all responded to campus, as well as personnel from the ATF, FBI and Homeland Security.

"The notices were based on available credible, confirmed information," Central Connecticut associate vice president of communications Mark Warren McLaughlin told the Post. "The information we received mentioned that there was a suspicious person who may have a weapon, but this had not been confirmed. . . . I wish more information had been available to us, but I certainly understand that during the chaos of an ongoing large-scale, complex investigation, confirmed information is hard to come by."

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