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Updated: MSU Employee Who Caused Campus Lockdown To Be Evaluated

The sun sets behind Montana State University's sculpture of Spirit, the school's mascot, April 2019.
Rachel Cramer
Yellowstone Public Radio
The sun sets behind Montana State University's sculpture of Spirit, the school's mascot, April 2019.

MSU Employee Arrested After Making Threats, Claiming To Have Guns

Update from the Associated Press at 12:30 P.M. July 12, 2019:

Montana State University officials say an employee will undergo a mental health evaluation after making threatening statements that caused a campus-wide lockdown.

School officials said in a statement Friday that the man is not under arrest and no charges have been filed against him. His name has not been released.

On Thursday, MSU students, employees and visitors were ordered to stay in locked rooms with window blinds drawn for over an hour until officers detained the man.

MSU police chief Frank Parrish says the man was about to be fired from his campus job. He told a relative and said on social media that he was suicidal and that he was willing to take others with him.

Officials say the man cooperated with police and consented to searches of his home and vehicle.

Original story posted 5:00 PM July 11, 2019:

A Montana State University employee was arrested on campus Thursday after threatening to harm himself and others. He claimed to have loaded guns.

MSU issued a shelter-in-place order just before 1 pm Thursday while officers from MSU PD, Bozeman PD and Gallatin County Sheriff's Office searched for the suspect.

“The suspect stated to a family member that he was ready to end it all, and he has all of his guns loaded and he was ready to take out anyone with him,” said MSU’s Police Chief Frank Parrish.

Parrish said police later discovered a social media post from the suspect stating, "All I can say right now is [expletive] this life. I am ready to check out.” 

Officers located the suspect inside the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering at 2:10 pm and took him to Gallatin County Detention Center. 

“We were able to confirm that he had two shotguns and a rifle. But we have not located those weapons, and they were not on his person when he was arrested,” said Parrish. 

Parrish said students were inside the engineering building. The shelter-in-place order was lifted around 2:15 pm through the MSU alert messaging system. 

“[During a shelter-in-place], go to a place of shelter, lock doors, turn off lights, and stay there until we have more information on the situation," said Parrish.

The suspect’s employment at MSU was being terminated and he was scheduled for a dismissal hearing at 2 pm. The suspect’s name was not released at the time this story aired. 

Copyright 2019 Yellowstone Public Radio

Rachel is a UM grad working in the MTPR news department.
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