Emergency Call Brings Police to Campus
Ammunition clip reported in GRS; no suspect or weapons found
Police converged on Boston University’s Charles River Campus yesterday afternoon after a BU student called the Boston University Police to report that he had seen a person carrying an ammunition clip and a bullet in the stairwell of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, at 705 Commonwealth Ave.
According to Boston University Police Chief Thomas Robbins, the suspect was described as a white male, approximately 22 years old, with short brown hair and wearing a heavy green coat with a fur collar. “The caller did not see a gun,” Robbins says.
Dispatchers received the call at noon, and BUPD officers responded and were on the scene in less than a minute. Officers from the Boston Police Department arrived shortly after to help conduct a sweep of 705 Comm Ave and adjacent buildings.
Police did not evacuate the building, Robbins says, “because there were enough officers on site to secure the area.” After classes were dismissed at the normal time, officers conducted an additional search of the building and the immediate vicinity. No suspects or weapons were found in the building.
Boston University sent out a message via its emergency alert system warning students, staff, and faculty members of police activity at 705 Comm Ave. The message instructed everyone to stay clear of the area until further notice.
“We didn’t want to make people unnecessarily nervous,” says Peter Fiedler, vice president for administrative services, “but we also felt that it was important to let the campus know what was going on.”
“We were very pleased with the response of the BUPD and the Boston Police Department,” he says. “We’re grateful that no one was hurt and that it caused no major disruptions on campus.”
The incident was the first time the University has used BU Alert in an emergency situation, and Fiedler says he feels the system was used efficiently. “People received the alerts within four minutes.”
Shortly after the emergency alert was sent out, Boston police questioned a man fitting the suspect’s description on Commonwealth Avenue outside Agganis Arena. That man was released when police determined that he was not the person they were looking for.
The commotion drew curious onlookers to the scene. “I was walking back from class when I heard the sirens and saw the SWAT team,” says Edward Abramson (CAS’09). “And then I got the emergency alert, so naturally I wanted to check it out.”
“I was nervous because my apartment is right across the street from here,” Tyler Brewer (COM’11) says. “And I just wanted to get home.”
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