April 4, 2013

BREAKING: University of Rhode Island on Lockdown

Carroll Andrew Morse

Multiple news organizations are tweeting about a possible gunman on the University of Rhode Island Kingston Campus. Kim Kalunian of WPRO, in the last five minutes, has tweeted...

State PD say "no evidence" of active shooter at URI Kingston campus, investigating now

URI worker says someone in class stood up and said they had a gun; Chafee building evacuated and all others on lockdown


From Bill Rappleye, via Meg Fraser...

@NBC10_Bill said police at URI found a plastic gun in a classroom. Hopefully that's all there is to the story
...and from Ted Nesi...
Eyewitness outside Chafee Hall on URI tells me *nobody* says shots have been fired.

From Tony Gugliotta...

State PD Col. Steven O'Donnell: "No evidence of active shooter on #URI campus." #URIlockdown
There are a growing number of reports that this was an actively perpetrated hoax, and not a misunderstanding.


Or maybe not. It seems the incident was spawned by someone shouting something in a lecture hall, but we're not sure what was yelled. Kim Kalunian again...

Reports of what student yelled in lecture hall range from: "I have a gun" to "I'm a Mexican" an "I'm a nice guy." URI still in lock down.
FINAL UPDATE to this post:

From an old-fashioned blog-post from Pamela Cotter of the Projo...

Kassandra Burke, a junior at the University of Rhode Island, said she was in a lecture hall inside the John Chafee Social Science Center when she heard the door open at the top of the hall, and a man shouted, "He's got a gun."

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If there was a media frenzy every time something like this happened at my university, there would be no time for any other news.

Posted by: Dan at April 4, 2013 1:07 PM

Sure sounds like agitprop or performance art to me. We'll probably never know. If it actually were a gunman it would be reported to the hilt. If it's just someone trying to raise consciousness about our gun culture, the performance will be quickly forgotten.

Posted by: observer at April 4, 2013 2:58 PM

Students playing a game with nerf guns, according to Dooley it's called "Humans vs. Zombies" and has been played on campus for years.

Whoever dropped the nerf guns are probably hiding and scared at this point, about to face charges, suspension, expulsion? Maybe Chafee will pray for them.

Posted by: riborn at April 4, 2013 8:00 PM

At the "Institute" in Virginia, there are armed guards 24 hours a day. The Cadets serving as "sentinels" are armed with M-14's and bayonets. As with most everything there, it is a tradition of long standing. It is technically an armory and must be protected by armed guards. I suppose that may not prevent a "Ft. Hood". On the other hand, all of the weapons there were locked up.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at April 4, 2013 10:43 PM

URI police, first on scene, are unarmed. When seconds count, call the police with guns who are 10 minutes away and don't know one building from another.

Posted by: riborn at April 5, 2013 2:33 PM

"URI police, first on scene, are unarmed."

Let's face it, they're "rent-a-cops" dealing mostly with upstreporous kids. Do we want them armed.

In the city where I mostly grew up, there was one cop with mental problems. So, they let him carry a gun with no bullets. After another trip to the nuthouse, they took his gun away and put him on doorshaking. He was afraid of the dark, so he sang as he made his rounds of the city center. He made some sort of an arrest by dragging me out of bed at 1 AM, claiming I had "almost run down three nuns around midnight". When the chief found out, I "walked" on that one. This is a true story.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at April 5, 2013 3:03 PM

Let's face it, they're "rent-a-cops" dealing mostly with upstreporous kids. Do we want them armed.

Get your facts straight Warrington. These are academy trained police officers who do not carry guns. They've had all the training that your average Rhode Island police officer has including firearms. I spent a couple of years at Bryant University and we had a drug rip on campus and the rippers were armed with a shotgun and .25 semi. Fortunately there was no confrontation with the unarmed security officers. Unfortunately for the suspects, Smithfield Police were 'Johnny-on-the-spot' as the suspects fled campus. There was a chase and they crashed. Arming the URI officers is long overdue given the violence that occurs on the most quiet of campuses.

Posted by: Max D at April 5, 2013 10:44 PM


I have certain prejudices. The police story I related above is even more ludicrous, but would fill a few paragraphs. I was 16, or 17, at that time. The other cops present didn't even ask where I found three Nuns to "almost run down" at Midnight.

Recently, I had a fifty-five year old acquaintance tazered for refusing to pay for a broken $6.00 piece of china. And left the store because he hadn't broken it. When ordered by the police to kneel, he told them he couldn't and rolled up his pant leg to show he was wearing a leg brace. They tazered him because they "thought he was going for a weapon". I think they wanted to try out their new tazers.

So, I worry about them carrying guns. As one cop once told me "All I know how to do is kill people". He had been a mercenary in Rhodesia (or so he claimed). Later he was killed in a shoot out with police in Miami. It was not made clear but it appears he was involved in a drug deal gone wrong.

I think we all know about the incidents of gunfire at the police club in Pawtucket.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at April 6, 2013 3:41 PM

If the school denies the students the ability to defend themselves against an armed nut, then the school must defend them. 'Everybody run' makes people a more difficult target, but can we not do better?

Posted by: Mike at April 6, 2013 8:02 PM

Warrington-law enforcement sometimes attracts the wrong people and sometimes they make it through a whole career-I guess you're a lawyer-need we discuss how many lawyers are quite frankly devoid of ethics or any semblance of truthfulness?There are good and bad people in all occupations-simplistic but true.The URI police are fully trained at the RIMPA-the RIC police are all retired police from other agencies and as such can carry off duty but not on campus-how stupid is that?Retired cops don't tend to get panicky with firearms.When I worked security at Lincoln Park every security officer was armed and we also were either active or retired LE.That was to protect the state's lottery earnings-our college students are surely more important.Hell,we have armed guards on armored cars and they don't need any LE background and that job draws some real wannabes.But it's the bankers' money-so I guess we must have our priorities straight here in RI,yes?

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 8, 2013 8:27 PM
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