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Monday, July 6, 2020

Early morning advisory gave campus a scare

By Allyson Roberts

The campus community was alerted to the presence of a man who had what appeared to be a rifle slung over his shoulder via Western Alert on Tuesday, May 14, around 5 a.m.

According to the alert, University Police responded to the incident after a late night shuttle driver was approached by the man, who reportedly said “Don’t worry about all this. There are a lot of bad people out tonight that I need to take care of.”

The incident occurred while the driver was parked at Western’s Physical Plant near Douglas and 25th streets at 4:07 a.m.


Location map made by Esther Chong, Campus map from Huxley Spacial Institute

1. Western’s Physical Plant

2. Buchanan Towers

3. Campus Services, Student Health Center, University Police


The suspect was described as a white man, about 6 feet tall, wearing dark pants and a lighter top and wearing a hat or cap, according to the alert.

After the interaction, the startled shuttle driver drove off, last seeing the man walking in a southeast direction away from campus towards Douglas Street, according to the Western Alert.

A subsequent Campus Advisory sent around noon stated that University Police added extra patrols on campus and were continuing communication with the Bellingham Police to monitor anymore potential threats to campus. There’s been no sightings since the first report from the shuttle driver, according to the advisory.

“We realize that such incidents can cause significant concern and anxiety on campus. Please know that Western strongly values the importance of campus safety and will notify the campus of any potential threat, which is what happened earlier today,” the Campus Advisory read.

According to Western’s Safety and Emergency Information, Western Alerts are sent for imminent threats to the health and safety of campus, while Campus Advisories are sent when there is a situation of concern.

University Police are asking for any information from the community and to contact them at 3911, or 911. They can also be contacted by the University Police anonymous reporting line at (360) 650-SAFE (7233).


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