Albion College was put on lockdown the night of Saturday, April 13 due to a police emergency.
Albion Public Safety responded to a 911 call to 311 Burr Oak Street regarding a domestic abuse incident. ADPS was advised that the suspect was also armed with a shotgun, according to a press release from the department.
Police arrived at the house at 9:45 p.m. to find smoke emitting from it. According to the press release, they immediately called for fire response from both off-duty Albion officers and Sheridan Township Fire Department.
Initially, two ADPS emergency response team officers entered the home with bulletproof vests and fire gear to search the house until the heat forced them back outside, according to an update on the ADPS Facebook page.
Due to the high quantity of smoke, authorities believed that no one could still be in the house. Sheridan Township firefighters then entered to begin extinguishing the fire while Albion Police and Calhoun County Sheriffs stood guard outside in case the suspect returned to the scene.
Scott Kipp, Albion Public Safety Chief, was quoted in the post on the ADPS Facebook page as “extremely concerned the suspect may come back and try to shoot firefighters trying to extinguish the fire.”
The official statement from Albion College regarding the incident stated that the Campus Safety office itself was notified of “an assault and barricaded gunman at a home adjacent to the college campus, shortly after 10 p.m.”
The first of four emergency warning messages from campus safety went out at 10:20 p.m., warning the student body to stay away from the intersection of Michigan avenue and Burr Oak street. Soon after, the 711 Michigan Avenue annex and the east side of Wesley were evacuated to Goodrich Chapel.
Later messages indicated that “there may be a gunman near campus,” and instructing students to stay inside with locked windows and doors until further notice.
After the fire was extinguished, Albion Public Safety officers swept through the house once more and did not find the suspect. ADPS dispatch was then sent out in regards to a reported “suspicious individual” at the PS gas station at Michigan and Superior. According to the press release, it was there that a Calhoun County Sheriff’s deputy apprehended the suspect and took him into custody at 11:30 p.m., and at 11:47 the college lockdown was lifted.
It was later discovered that the suspect had held a woman at gunpoint before she was able to get away from the house; at which point she made the 911 call. The suspect then intentionally set the house on fire, and fled the scene, according to Albion Public Safety.
This story was originally published on Monday, April 15, and since been updated to better represent the course of action taken by Albion College Campus Safety and Albion Department of Public Safety.
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Photo by Caleb Williams