By: Hannah Paige Michels ~Head Photo Editor~
A shot was fired Monday night outside of a University of Cincinnati (UC) dorm just after 8 p.m.
UC student Miles Garrett was outside the dorm, Dabney Hall, with a friend who began talking with a man unknown to Garrett. During ther conversation, the man pulled out a gun and fired a shot.
“It was actually kind of directed toward my friend, but it was more in the air,” Garrett told WCPO.
The gunman likely fled campus following the missed shot. Police searched Siddall Hall and Tangeman University Center after receiving tips but found no sign that the suspect was ever in the buildings.
The university announced a shelter-in-place alert for the duration of the search for the subject that involved K-9 units, SWAT teams and the Cincinnati Police Department. Students took to Twitter immediately after the shooting to update the public but also to express frustration and inconvenience more than fear regarding the incident.
As both Calhoun and McMillian Streets were shut down, students were blocked from entering the campus and were unable to return to their residences at the University Park Apartments.
“They had the campus go on lockdown, and I was stuck in the library,” Bennett Jones, a sophomore UC student said. “We weren’t getting any reliable information about what was going on. It was pretty nerve-wracking.
“I think this whole incident highlights the need for UC to expand on their communication with students,” Jones continued. “We got one text alert and then really didn’t hear anything else. In situations such as this, lack of communication has the potential to incite panic, which can make things even more dangerous.”
UC Director of Public Safety James Whalen confirmed that students were safe and no injuries were sustained.
The lockdown was lifted at 9:46 p.m, but the suspect is still at large. The identity of the intended victim has yet to be released, and it is still unknown if the suspect was a UC student. Some students have speculated that the interaction between the gunman and intended victim was a drug deal gone wrong, but Whalen is unable to confirm these speculations.
The suspect’s motives are unknown, but he was described as a black man, 5’10 wearing gray clothing.
While students are still on edge, classes resumed normally Tuesday morning. Whalen will be interviewing the intended victim for more information. Anyone with information is asked to call the University of Cincinnati police at (513)-556-4900.