|BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: No gun involved in Tuesday's incident|
|Written by Megan Maginity and Kellie Flaherty, News Editors|
|Tuesday, 12 February 2013 16:10|
A Chicago man was apprehended after creating chaos on ISU’s campus on Tuesday afternoon.
Nathan Thomas, Chicago resident and non-ISU student, was allegedly spotted with a
weapon near Watterson Towers when an ISU Emergency Alert was sent. ISU Media Relations later reported Tuesday night that there was not a weapon involved in the incident.
"After interviewing the student and suspect, we determined the student’s original statement was based on the fear he might have access to a weapon, but she later admitted having never seen a weapon," Aaron Woodruff, Illinois State’s Police Chief, said in a press release.
The initial alert was sent at 3:25 p.m.
“Be alert, do NOT approach, and seek shelter. Suspect is a Nathan Thomas, described as a black male, approximately 6 feet 1 inch tall with dreadlocks. Last seen wearing a white hat, a black coat with red and black stripes on the waist and wrists, and baggy pants,” the alert stated.
At 3:42 p.m. another alert was sent.
“All residence halls and dining centers are restricted to only current residents at this time,” the second alert stated.
Shortly after the alerts were sent, a Normal Police officer spotted Thomas at Uptown Station trying to board an Amtrak train.
According to Jay Groves, assistant to the ISU President, Thomas was visiting an ISU female student.
The initial report originated at Wright Hall, according to Groves.
“A friend of [the ISU student] found out about this [possible weapon] and called the ISU Police Department, who also contacted Normal Police Department,” he said.
Upon the ISU Emergency Alerts, Thomas and the female student somehow walked to Watterson Towers, separated, and then the man walked south on Fell St. from Watterson Towers, Groves said.
A Normal Police officer then spotted a man who matched the description at Uptown Station.
During this time, some ISU classes were put on lockdown due to the professors’ discretion.
“As far as I know, the decision was to stay safe and take cover in Wright Hall and Watterson Tower areas,” he said. “The alert went out to thousands of people.”
As of press time, Thomas is in custody and the campus has returned to normal operation. There were no injuries that occurred during this situation.