Frightening Hours on URI Campus End; Perpetrator Still Sought - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather


Frightening Hours on URI Campus End; Perpetrator Still Sought

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis 

Officers from the campus, local cities and towns and the Rhode Island State police swarmed the URI Campus just before 11:30. All this after a class was disrupted inside the John Chafee Building.

Kayla Gilmore, a URI Student was in the class and said, "We were in physiology class and heard somebody pounding on the door saying that they have a gun and let them in. ‘I have a gun.' So we all dove underneath our seats and then our professor told us, ‘everybody run!'"

Students in the Chafee building fled, while people in other buildings were put on lockdown for the next two and a half hours. Finally, around 2 O'clock, the all clear was given.

Capt. Frank Castellone, of the Rhode Island State Police said, "At no time was there ever an active shooter or a handgun on campus. And at no time was there ever anyone in danger."

Inside the Chafee classroom, police found a toy Nerf gun that may have been used for a campus "zombie" game, but they're not sure it's connected to this incident.

URI sent out a text alert to phones and social media, and the warning spread fast.

URI President Dr. David Dooley said, "That utilizes all outlets including obviously our website, social media, Facebook, Twitter, and all of that. As soon as there is a campus emergency, we simultaneously post that alert." 

A few students were slightly injured fleeing Chafee Hall, but nothing serious. Campus officials say the emergency response went well.

Police would still like to know who pounded on the classroom door and said they had a gun, so they can find out if this was a real threat or just a very unfortunate and ill-advised college prank. Anyone with information on who that perpetrator was, should call URI Police or the Rhode Island State Police.



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