A Maine college is on lockdown after a shooting on campus

The campus of a liberal arts college in Maine was placed on lockdown early Saturday morning after a shooting…

The campus of a Maine liberal arts college was placed on lockdown early Saturday morning after a gunshot rang out in a student housing complex during what one student said was a massive annual party.

Colby College said no students were injured during an altercation involving a firearm at the Alfond Senior Apartments on campus in Waterville, Maine.

Colby students were not injured and the suspect was not connected to the college, while police continued to search for others involved, the school said in a statement.

Police did not see an immediate danger to the campus community, but asked students to remain in place throughout the night out of an abundance of caution, the college said.

Normal operations are expected to resume in the morning and counseling services will be available for individual and group support on campus, where staff provided support to students overnight, the school said.

An email sent to students by the college’s interim dean, Barbara Moore, at 2:21 a.m. and shared by a student said the Waterville Police Department “has an individual in custody who attended events there and fired a gun.”

“We urge you to shelter in place until we have more information that the campus is completely safe,” wrote Moore, who did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press.

The Waterville Police Department did not immediately respond to an AP request for additional information.

Landon Kissel, an 18-year-old freshman from Manhasset, N.Y., said he left campus in his car “to play 100% safe,” about five minutes after receiving a report of the 1:49 a.m. incident.

“We have an open campus, so there’s no security to prevent anyone from entering or leaving campus, so I was able to just walk out,” Kissell told the AP in a direct message on social media, adding that he was in contact with his friends at campus.

“At first it was more just a state of confusion where no one understood what was going on. Immediately, there were various rumors about what was actually happening,” he said.

“There was definitely some struggle to find a safe place, but since everyone was already inside because of the temperature, most people either stayed where they were or went to the next building and locked themselves in there,” Kissell said.

The Alfond apartments, where the shot was fired from, were hosting what Kissel described as a “massive party” that lasts for about 24 hours every year on St. Patrick’s Day. The holiday falls on March 17, but the party, known as “Dog’s Head,” was moved up a week this year because the holiday falls on Colby’s spring break, he said.

Kissel first learned of the lockout from his dorm resident assistant, who sent a text to students in the Sturtevent dorm.

“At first, everyone was freaking out, especially because no one ever expected to have to go into lockdown in little Waterville, Maine,” Kissell said. “But since the school sent the official email, things have improved.”

Kissel initially did not see an email from Moore or another student government leader telling students to stay put.

“I never saw those emails until now, because who would think to check email in a panic situation, right?” Kissel said at 3:25 a.m. from his car in the state capital of Augusta, about 20 miles (32 km) south of the Colby campus. He considered spending the rest of the night with friends at Bates College in Lewiston, another 34 miles (54 km) south of Augusta.

Founded in 1813, Colby is the 12th oldest liberal arts college in the United States, according to the school’s website.

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or distributed.

Source link