USI students react after alert of possible armed person on campus

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)– People are asking questions after an incident last night, some USI students, parents and staff got a concerning message through the university’s alert system.

It explained there was a possible armed person in the student housing area. It ended up being a false alarm, but alarm is exactly what it caused.

The day before the last day of classes– some students at the University of Southern Indiana weren’t relaxing.

“I was really scared I was anxious I was worried for everyone safety on campus,” USI Sophomore Chloe Anslinger says.

That’s because they received this message through the USI alert system. It warns of a possible armed person in housing and tells them to find shelter where they are.

“I had to be on campus in 30 minutes and I didn’t want to come,” Anslinger continues.

But not even five minutes later they sent another message. An all-clear. USI Public Safety Director Steve Bequette says everything started around 5:30.

“Basically this was a shelter in place type situation until the issue was stabilized by local law enforcement,” Bequette says.

Bequette says the cautions they took were based on what was known at the time.

“We have to act on the premise of the information that we have and in good faith, we acted on that.”

Even after the all-clear, some students though say they were worried.

“I had relief but I was really confused why they had just sent out one before that there was possibly a gun on campus I didn’t know what to think I still didn’t totally feel safe just because it wasn’t totally clear what was going on,” Anslinger says.

Bequette says in the time he’s been with the university, this is a first.

“We have For weather-related issues but as far as a shelter in place for an armed intruder we never have,” Bequette explains.

USI says anyone with a university email is signed up for the alert system. The majority of staff and students are also signed up for text alerts.

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(This story was originally published on December 3, 2019)

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