DC police locate a “suspicious person” at Catholic University

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Catholic University Students Again Told to Shelter in Place.

WASHINGTON — Catholic University of America students again were warned to shelter in place and police say a suspicious person was located before the shelter-in-place order was lifted. An initial notice on the school’s website Tuesday evening said city police and university public safety officers were on campus in response to a “possible armed suspect.” Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Officer Sean Hickman later said police weren’t actually searching for an armed suspect but had located a “suspicious person.” He declined to identify the person or elaborate. A university official said a custodial worker reported Monday night being approached by a man with a weapon demanding the location of the administration building. Although the timing of the university’s messages could not be precisely determined, it appeared that the first Twitter message from CU calling for students to take shelter may have been issued as early as midnight with the Facebook messages possibly issued later.

The 2:40 a.m. message said members of the university community “may resume normal activities.” It said D.C. and campus police had concluded their search and determined that the campus was safe. In a message posted Tuesday on the university’s Facebook site, the university’s president, John Garvey, offered an explanation of the overnight response. Earlier, in a Twitter message, the university had said the individual being sought was described as a tall, “middleeastern man, slim, wearing suit jacket.” The vigorous response to the report and the seriousness with which it was taken appeared at least in part to reflect heightened concern over recent mass shooting incidents.

A Department of Public Safety post on Catholic University’s Facebook page stated that the person of interest identified Tuesday night was not the same person involved in a different incident earlier in the day. He said the person had “made claims that sounded to our custodian like terroristic threats.” The alerts heightened tensions on campus, where students are preparing for finals. In addition, police said early Tuesday that they were checking into a report of a suspicious package at the university, which is located in Northeast Washington.

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