Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Men In Black Reported As Shooters On Campus

Officials at Western Kentucky University at Bowling Green, Kentucky, reported four black-clad armed men on campus.

WLKY-TV in Louisville reported that the university issued the following text alert at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 22, 2008: "An armed man has been reported on WKU South Campus. Please stay clear of this area."

WBKO in Bowling Green reported that police are searching for four people dressed in black with guns.

Officials sent out the following text: "Shots fired near Pearce Ford tower. Seek shelter immediately."

James Williams said that he got the following text message from his daughter at 1:37 p.m.: "Stay away from south campus because armed men are running around campus. All students have been moved to the main campus."

University spokesman Bob Skipper said the incident was occurring inside the school's South Campus. Skipper said the building has been evacuated and police are searching the area.

Someone reported seeing people with weapons in a building on a satellite campus and police later received reports that shots had been fired on the main campus, a mile away.

Police searched a South Campus building but did not find any people with guns or witnesses who could confirm those reports.

Shortly before 1 p.m., the university sent a text message warning students to seek shelter after reports of shots fired in or near Pearce Ford Tower residence hall, on the school's main campus, though those reports were also unconfirmed.

Officials said there was some type of fight in or near the residence hall, though it did not involve weapons, reported WCBS-TV.

"We did have a fight and initial reports were that a weapon was involved but that has not been confirmed," said Bob Skipper, director of media relations for the school about an hour north of Nashville, Tenn. "We actually had reports of three different fights, one on our south campus about a mile from our main campus."

He said he did not know whether the fights were connected. Spokeswoman Robbin Taylor said four people were being questioned by police but no charges had been filed.

University lawyer Deborah Wilkins said there were no immediate reports of injuries.

The campus emergency warning system was activated and students and employees were told to remain indoors. An "all clear" was issued around 4 p.m. Classes were canceled for the rest of Wednesday.

The university's South Campus is home to Bowling Green Community College. The university, which has about 16,500 undergraduates, is on a hill in Bowling Green. Its students and sports teams are known as Hilltoppers.

(Clearly, this may be a localized example of behavior contagion or something more. Thanks for the heads up to Curt Rowlett.)

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