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bsn BSN: Fortunately forgettable day shakes CU-Boulder campus

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    BOULDER – Wednesday was a day in Boulder that might be soon forgotten, and that’s fortunate.

    Almost everyone that is associated with the Colorado Buffaloes athletics department, University of Colorado and Boulder was impacted by the situation that took place on campus.

    When talking to the staffers and those who are associated with the Buffs you recognize their realization that the day could’ve been much worse.

    At 9:15 in the morning, just across the Buff Walk from where the football team was practicing, staffers were hearing bashing on the doors just outside of their office. In the stairwell which they walk every day, a “harmer” with a machete was creating chaos.

    The harmer, or suspect, was said to have gotten into an argument outside the Champions Center. The suspect followed a patient into the sports-medicine facility, campus police said later in the day. Sources told BSN Denver the suspect was going after those who “committed sins.”

    “A patient who was receiving treatment at the sports-medicine facility encountered a man armed with a machete outside,” CU Police Chief Melissa Zak said at a press conference.” The man made threatening and harassing statements to the patient, at which time the patient entered the Champions Center and went to the second floor. The suspect followed the patient to the second floor.”

    The man with the machete generated “multiple” 911 calls following his entrance of the building, Zak said. Officers from both the CU and Boulder police were on the scene and one from each department discharged their weapon to end the threat. He was shot down between the fourth and fifth floors of the building.

    “Given the weapon that the suspect was armed with, given the statements already made to our initial victim and given the nature of how the suspect was maneuvering through the Champions Center, we believe that it was in the best interest of the university,” Zak said of the police’s use of deadly force.

    While athletic staffers feared for their lives, ducked for cover and fled their offices, less than a 100 yards away, the football team was in the middle of practice.

    “It didn’t affect practice at all,” Mike MacIntyre said. “The kids did not know what was going on whatsoever while we were practicing, I explained to them after practice a little bit… we can’t even go up to our offices. The kids are here until they release us.”

    The situation at Champions Center over, little effect was had on essential staff members other than a lockout of Franklin Field, which the players were unaware of.

    Thank you for all the calls and text! @CUBoulderPolice did an unbelievable job of protecting our campus!

    — Darrin Chiaverini (@CoachChev6) October 5, 2016

    What a day! Want to thank the Boulder Police for all they do! Even bought us pizza and allowed me up in my office to grab TWO Pepsi's!

    — Jim Leavitt (@CoachJimLeavitt) October 5, 2016

    Athletes were released and told to go to their classes, which were not canceled, and they continued with their day.

    Rumors and speculation continued on campus and culminated with the University Memorial Center being evacuated and several buildings being put on lockdown. Our own Samantha Weaver was in the building at the time.

    “Cops came running in with shotguns, told us to run,” Weaver said. “‘Get away from the UMC! Now!'”

    “Subsequent incidents were found to be false (including the one that sent the UMC into chaos),” CU Chancellor Phil Distefano said. “There is no continuing threat to campus.”

    “Multiple radio calls came into 911,” Police told media later. “Self-evacuation of UMC caused a lot of chaos but the UMC is safe.”

    As much as the reassurance of safety from police officers and superiors persisted, there was no safe feeling among students, student-athletes or university workers. The heightened police activity with the Champions Center incident led to fear which led to the false report of a harmer at the UMC.

    That fear persisted throughout the day and will persist throughout the week at CU-Boulder. It’s fair to be scared. After all, seeing heavily armed policemen in SWAT uniforms in places you normally don’t see isn’t a nice feeling.

    The feeling your campus and its alerts system have betrayed you while police scream at you the information you’ve gotten is wrong is not comforting. These are feelings students and campus members shared as they tried to go through their normal Wednesday.

    That affect will effect athletes, some of whom reached out to media outlets to try and get information because they felt their university had left them out of the loop.

    The underlying theme on the day was thankfulness. Those in the community where thankful that the situation wasn’t one that changed CU Boulder in a harmful way. While it did put quite a scare into a previously vibrant campus, folks will not have to remember Oct. 5, 2016.

    Credit all images to Samantha Weaver, BSN Denver – click to enlarge

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    Jake Shapiro
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