WUPD finds no weapon after shelter-in-place in response to report of armed person on East End

and | Senior News Editor and Editor-in-Chief
A blue light on campus in front of a green tree and blue sky

A blue light near Francis Field. (Photo by Curran Neenan | Student Life)

The Washington University Police Department said they found no weapon and made no arrests after questioning a person at the WUPD station in response to a report of someone with a gun on the East End Thursday afternoon.

The University did not fully clarify that information in the 5:46 p.m. security memo sent after the University instructed community members to shelter in place for almost an hour. 

The University had alerted faculty, students and staff at 3:14 p.m. that there was an armed person on campus, telling them to “RUN/HIDE/FIGHT.” At 3:40 p.m. the University released another alert, saying that WUPD was investigating a report of a person on the East End with a gun and that community members should shelter in place. WUPD did not find a weapon and brought the person to the department station, Chief Mark Glenn told Student Life. At 4:23 p.m., the University alerted community members that “there was no longer an active threat” and that normal activity could resume. 

Over an hour after the “all-clear,” WUPD sent a security memo that said officers had “completed a thorough search of buildings on the east end of campus and located the person in question within about an hour.” The memo reported that officers had determined there was not a threat, but did not include that WUPD had found no weapon. The memo also said the officers spoke with the “person in question” but did not mention that the person was brought to the WUPD station for questioning.

A local person unaffiliated with the University had reported someone carrying a gun on the East End just before the initial alert went out, Glenn said. The University released the alert “within seconds” of the report, he added.

When Student Life asked Glenn if WUPD had taken anyone into custody, Glenn said no. But when Student Life asked about a KMOX report that police officers had entered a police vehicle with a person wearing a backpack, Glenn said that WUPD had brought a person to the department headquarters for questioning.

Glenn said the person was cooperative during the “interview” and that WUPD brought the person to a requested location afterward. He did not release additional information about that person, saying that there was an ongoing investigation. 

Glenn confirmed that Clayton Police Department officers came to campus to assist with the investigation, which he said was normal since WUPD collaborates with neighboring police departments on a regular basis.

You can see our initial story here.

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