“Last week there was a man with a gun on campus!” “He shot at people at the equestrian center!” Rumors, folks, all rumors. A text message informing all students of a police issue at the equestrian center sent out last week created many questions but provided no answers. Here’s what really happened:
On Monday, March 25 around 1:30 p.m., campus safety issued a lockdown at the equestrian center. They overheard the Albion police radio that a man reportedly was shooting a gun near Albion College property. After searching the area, police found a 23-year-old man a quarter mile from the equestrian center. Though unarmed, he refused to let police anywhere near him for 45 minutes, after which he was taken in for psychological evaluation.
“No one in the area reported hearing any gun shots,” said Kenneth Snyder, director of campus safety. “When the police found the man he refused to let anyone get near him. This suggests the mental state this man was in.”
According to Snyder, the lockdown at the equestrian center was only a precautionary measure. All horses were moved inside and all people were moved to a secure area.
“A big thanks to campus safety for putting themselves in front of us so that we could do our jobs in taking care of the horses in our charge,” said Danielle Menteer, dressage team coach.
Only a few students and staff were at the equestrian center with their horses when the issue occurred. All Albion students were notified by text messages from campus safety advising them to stay clear of the area.
“It surprised me more than anything,” said Stephanie Early, Watsonville, Calif., first-year and member of the equestrian team. “My first reaction was that something happened to the horses.”
No student or animal was harmed during this event thanks to cooperation from all those involved with closing down the equestrian center.
“It’s not until something like this happens that you realize just how many doors we have in our facility,” Menteer said.
The area was cleared and the matter was resolved within an hour, leaving minds at ease for those at the barn. Although in this case no danger presented itself, Albion students and faculty were able to remain informed thanks to campus safety’s alert system.