ATU Response to Off-Campus Incident

Officers from the Arkansas Tech University Department of Public Safety and additional ATU personnel were integral in providing for the safety and comfort of individuals affected by an off-campus incident in Russellville during the overnight hours on Thursday, June 28, 2018.

“I want to thank every member of our university staff who worked together to smoothly ensure the safety of our students and guests,” said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, ATU president. “They quickly and consistently provided communication both internally and externally, keeping all abreast of developments. They assisted local authorities and housed our neighbors in need during a time of crisis. A special word of appreciation goes to Captain Tammy Dougan and her fellow officers from the ATU Department of Public Safety for their outstanding efforts.”

According to information released by authorities, the suspect in the incident barricaded himself in his apartment in the 600 block of West K Street at approximately 6:45 p.m. Thursday. He fired shots at both bail bondsmen and Russellville Police Department officers during the early stages of the incident. The suspect emerged from his apartment at approximately 2:15 a.m. Friday and began firing at officers. The suspect, an unidentified 37-year old white male, was engaged by officers and died at the scene.

Following the initial reports of gunfire on Thursday evening, officers from the ATU Department of Public Safety positioned themselves near campus residence halls to ensure that no residents would exit those facilities until the situation was resolved.

Additionally, personnel from the ATU Office of Residence Life confirmed there were no youth summer campers housed on the side of campus nearest the scene of the incident.

Officers from the ATU Department of Public Safety coordinated with officers from Arkansas State Police to provide a staging area in an ATU parking lot for the Arkansas State Police Tactical Unit so that the team could respond to the situation on West K Street.

Residents of West K Street who were evacuated from their homes were provided temporary shelter at Baswell Techionery on the ATU campus until it became necessary for authorities to cut electrical power service to the suspect’s apartment complex, which also cut electrical power service to much of the ATU campus. The evacuees were relocated to an off-campus hotel.

Power was restored at approximately 2:30 a.m. Friday and personnel from the ATU Office of Information Systems worked overnight to restore computer network services on campus. Those services were restored as of approximately 3 a.m. Friday. Personnel from the ATU Office of Facilities Management worked during the early morning hours on Friday to restore air conditioning service to university facilities.

ATU opened and is operating normally on Friday, June 29.

Russellville Police Department, Arkansas State Police, Pope County Sheriff’s Office, Russellville Fire Department, Pope County EMS, Arkansas Tech University Public Safety, Pope County 911, Entergy, City Corporation and the Russellville Office of the Mayor were among the agencies and entities that worked together to ensure the safety of the public during this incident.

Comments

  1. Melissa Swanson says:

    Excellent handling of the incident by our University President, Dr. Robin Bowen and the ATU Department of Safety! So thankful that my daughter is attending ATU! Incidents will happen, but calm, quick and cooperative handling makes students, staff and parents alike feel great about putting their trust in this University! So very sorry to hear that it had to end the way it did, but we fully support all of the “blues” that responded to this incident, especially the Russellville Police Department and ATU DPS! Thank you, Dr. Bowen, for your prompt notification of our students and this briefing.

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