IUPUI police, officials meet to discuss response to Tuesday’s gunman reports

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Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) police and university officials met Wednesday afternoon to consider their response 24 hours earlier to a report of gunman spotted on campus.

The alert, through text messages, e-mails and phone calls, advised students and staff within 10 minutes of a 911 call that a woman spotted the gun in the trunk of a car in the parking lot at Barnhill and Vermont streets. A copy of the alert follows:

“Officers responded and put a perimeter onto the parking lot,” said IUPUI Capt. Bill Abston, as he wheeled his patrol car down an access street near the lot. “We had an officer in the adjacent parking garage that when the run came out, he got out of his car and was overlooking the parking lot that we responded to.”

For the next four hours, IUPUI officers, and officers from IMPD, the state police and capitol police, searched the campus for a man matching the description of the driver of the car.

“We’re telling people to seek shelter, so, if that’s a decision the want to make, then that’s their decision,” said Abston. “Then we provided several updates to seek shelter until we provide an all clear.”

Abston said officers searched several buildings floor-by-floor.

“We go through and we talk to people, ‘have you seen anything suspicious?’ We see how people are doing,” Abston said. “If we walk by an office and they’re conducting business as normal, well, we can use that as cues and just our interaction with people, we can get a lot of information if things are okay.”

With less than ten on-duty officers at his disposal, Abston said the alert was called off after the last building was searched.

“We don’t put a time limit on it,” he said. “What we rather look at is, are we doing it effectively? Are we doing it thoroughly? So, whatever time it takes, we want to be satisfied.”

Students boarded buses for classes once again on West Michigan Street outside Ball Residential Hall.

“I think they did a great job,” said freshman Carlee Westfall, who spent the afternoon locked in her dorm room. “They were letting us know right away.”

Abston said police and school officials will compare notes on communication and coordination of the alert response.

In 1979, Abston was involved in the arrest of a man who fatally wounded a co-worker in the Medical Sciences building on campus.

That man was armed with a rifle and his gunfire set fire to the building.

5 comments

  • RichieSlammer

    A total unfounded cluster fuck that shut down the west side of downtown, way over reacting and a freaking waste of taxpayers money. Sandy Hook revisited is what they wanted but instead it was probably some old dude getting out with a cane and some stupid women claiming to see something she didnt, what a waste of tax $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • You No

    Indy must be full of the dumbest group of patsy NARCs this side of Chicago.

    Seriously, are we so d*mned incapable and afraid as a nation, that we locked down 4 campuses (billions of $$$ of infrastructure) so we could cause the loss of a day’s worth of work for Tens of Thousands (some of our brightest), over an Unidentified Item Case?

    A pool-stick, fishing-rod, archery, tripod, map, you-name-it-because-A-GUN WAS-NEVER-ACTUALLY-SEEN, IT WAS ONLY A “CASE” IN A TRUNK, CASE?!

    These people have feed us so much instant news junk that we’ve mentally capitulated our own senses to a socially and personality killing fear.

    Our grand-parents would have asked this woman, “Why are you looking in his trunk in the first place?”

    Instead, we’re asking “if the police acted fast enough,” ON HEARSAY!

    We’ve doomed ourselves to second rate. It’s an inevitability that we will be out produced, out-breed, and out socialized, by cultures who actually bother to think.

    Thanks insta-news services for hire, and great thinkers like B. Boxer. Your fear mongering has done your nation a great service. How bout that fiscal cliff? Think our federal tax dollars were well spent at IUPUI yesterday?

  • Jas

    unless you two were there while everything was happening, then i would suggest to shut up and not put these type of opinions and comments out there. I feel like they did the best they could. If your friend, your daughter, or your spouse or girlfriend was at that campus… you would have wanted them to take the kind of precautions they did! plus it was a traumatic and scary experience and i do not appreciate stupid comments like yours .. thanks!

    • John Browning

      Who cares if someone had a rifle or shotgun in their trunk? There is no law against that.

      So its alright to freak out and shut down the entire area because someone MIGHT have been doing something that was perfectly legal? Really?

      Its not illegal to carry one around campus either. Might not be the brightest thing to do given recent events, but its not illegal.

      You see, if you had the means to take care of yourself (like I do) you wouldn't all freak out anytime someone was seen with a gun. 99% of the time when police get these "MAN WITH A GUN, OH NOES" calls, the person with the gun is doing nothing wrong and has no ill intent.

  • maxwell

    This was a training/dress rehearsal.

    Dozens of security cameras on the campus and not ONE image of the car coming or going from where it was supposed to be parked.

    And while it's evident to be a big phoney waste, the more it appears that the Public Safety Directer is complicit in its orchestration.

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