WCSU gives ‘all clear’ following report of person with a gun on Westside campus


The “all clear” has been given after students at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury were told to ‘shelter in place’ for three hours following a report of a gunman on the Westside Campus Tuesday afternoon.

At 2:05 p.m, WCSU officials issued a text alert to students and posted on the school’s website that Westside Campus students should shelter in place.

Giselle Tito and Greg Campbell were both in class when their cell phones started buzzing with the notification. 

“My stomach kind of sank,” Campbell told News 8.  “We threw six or seven tables against the door and sat against the wall away from the door and window. We just waited it out.”

“Our professor told us to read the message, stay calm and stay quiet,” Tito added. 

“Report of person with a gun in the VPA building. Shelter in place if you are on the Westside campus.”

Massive police presence at Western Connecticut State University following a report of a person with a gun on campus. (Amy Hudak / WTNH)

The school said the person was reportedly seen in the Visual and Performing Arts building on the Westside campus. Danbury’s Police Chief, Patrick Ridenhour said two students made reports. 

“One person said they saw a person with a rifle with a clip and the other said they saw a suspicious person – didn’t specify what type of weapon – other than they had a duffel bag,” Chief Ridenhour told News 8.  

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton tweeted that State and Danbury police were on the scene searching for the reported gunman.

Just before 3:10 p.m., officials at WestConn said they were going room-to-room searching for the gunman.

First responders on the Westside Campus of Western Connecticut State University following a report of a person with a gun on campus. (Amy Hudak / WTNH)

Surrounding schools were also placed on lockdown. According to Danbury Mark Boughton, Westside Middle School and Mill Ridge Elementary were released under Danbury PD supervision. 

Just before 3:30 p.m., Mayor Boughton tweeted that students at the Western Connecticut Academy for International Studies would be dismissed from the rear of their school building under the supervision of Danbury police officers.

By 3:40 p.m., police completed their initial sweep of the Visual and Performing Arts building. No suspect or gun was found. They then conducted a room-by-room clearance of the building.

First responders also sent up a drone to search the campus and immediate area for any signs of a gunman.

Students on the Westside Campus tell News 8 that school officials are with Danbury officers visiting students in the buildings.

Just after 4:05 p.m., WestConn officials announced that all classes at both campuses have been canceled for Tuesday night.

The “all-clear” was given just after 5:00 p.m.



Around 5:20 p.m., Boughton confirmed that there were no suspects.

Web Extra: Noelle Gardner speaks to WCSU students after lockdown is put in place

This is a developing story. News 8 will add more details as soon as they become available.

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