At least five CSU police officers canvassed the Lory Student Center and the surrounding area Wednesday, two of them brandishing semi-automatic tactical rifles, in response to a tip that two men who had allegedly stepped off a Transfort bus carrying guns had walked into the center.
Students said officers had been telling passersby that the department was conducting a training exercise.
But Commander of Police Operations Scott Harris told the Collegian that the CSU Police Department received a call from the driver of the bus about the men.
Brad Bohlander, the university’s chief spokesperson, said that, at about 4 p.m., CSUPD got the call from the driver, who said an anonymous passenger saw the men exit the bus in hoods.
Police officers patrolled the building for about 30 minutes before deciding that “there was no immediate threat,” according to Bohlander.
He said the incident serves to remind the campus community to be vigilant in reporting questionable actions.
“This is just a good reminder that people should call the police when they see suspicious behavior,” Bohlander said.
LSC Building Proctor Tamene Abebe told the Collegian he had seen two officers with rifles drawn, saying, “Nobody knows” what’s happening.
LSC Business Director Robert Peters, who also saw the officers, said, “We don’t get any calls or anything like that if there’s an emergency. The police just come in.”
Bohlander said when police hear a tip through the grapevine, they wait to notify building officials until they decide there is a legitimate threat.
“In this case, it was a third-hand report that they take very seriously,” Bohlander said.
The incident comes a day before the two-year anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre that claimed the lives of 33 people including gunman Seung-Hui Cho, who killed himself after the rampage.
Just after the VT massacre, CSU’s Emergency Management Team, a safety coalition of departments campus-wide formed in response to the shooting, implemented a text messaging service for emergency situations.
Students can sign up for the service through RAMweb.
Text messages were not sent out in response to Monday’s police patrol.
Entertainment Editor Johnny Hart and Editor-in-Chief Aaron Montoya contributed to this report.
Development Editor Aaron Hedge can be reached at email@example.com.