MSU police lift campus lockdown, threat level low
BOZEMAN, Mont. - Tense moments on Wednesday as authorities lock down Montana State University's campus following reports of two men, possibly with a black rifle. Police described one of the men as wearing a hunter orange hoodie. The second man was in a gray/green jacket and a ball cap. We watched as multiple agencies along with MSU Police combed the campus, going in and out of every building. The campus was on lock down for a total of two hours, the alert was lifted just before 11a.m on Wednesday. University Spokesperson, Tracy Ellig, says authorities found no sign of the two men they were looking for.
"The number one issue always with a situation like this is the safety of the campus. We feel confident that we swept the campus, we havent found anybody and so that's why we are telling people it can go back to their business," said Ellig.
While school may be out for the summer, there are still plenty of students and staff and workers on campus. We talked to several people who tell us they were quick to lock their doors after receiving the MSU text alert.
In Christina Fourniers 14 years here, she has seen a few incidents, but never a situation where she had to stay put while police combed campus. "We were watching the police cars, we could see them from our office window," said Fournier. Fournier says the text alert allowed her to act quickly. "We're close to a door that we locked pretty much right away," said Fournier. Stefanie Herrera is another person who was on campus during the lock down. She was working at SRO Espresso at the time. "I had a bunch of friends actually text me and asked me if I was in the building and they seemed a little concerned," said Herrera. Herrera said she felt secure the entire time with police standing by the doors, and that it was business as usual at the coffee shop. "We stayed open, we served coffee to everybody that was hanging out in the building," said Herrera. Autumn Majszak also got the text alert, but was not on campus at the time. "I even called work to make sure I had to come in because of the lock down," said Majszak. Two hours after this lock down was lifted there was a sense of calm on campus. "This is a pretty safe place to be and I think our police did a good job taking care of it," said Fournier. Police are continuing to make sure students and faculty feel that way, as they continue to monitor campus closely throughout the day. Many people on our KTVM 6 Facebook page were asking about gun laws, specifically on MSU's campus, so we checked the facts. According to the university's website, guns are not permitted on campus in the academic and common areas. However MSU does permit students to bring hunting and sporting weapons to the campus. If you live in a residence hall you are required to register the rifle or shotgun in a designated weapons storage area, but cannot have the weapon in your dorm room. The MSU alert also prompted Bozeman schools on the south side to take their own safety measures, like monitoring all outside doors. Superintendent Rob Watson tells us four schools total took extra precautions, because of their proximity to MSU. Those schools were Longfellow, Irving, Morning Star and Sacajawea Middle School. Watson explains those schools went under what they call a "secure in place." "And that means we make sure the exterior doors were locked, we make sure students are inside, they are not outside at recess they cant go outside for recess, they cant go outside for health enhancement, they have to stay inside the building, but teachers can still keep teaching, so we went on as it was a normal day we just didn't allow students outside," said Watson. Those schools lifted that extra security as soon as MSU lifted their alert. If you have any information on individuals matching the description in the MSU text alert you are asked to contact campus police at 406-994-2121.