Willamette's Emergency Notification System sent out a "shelter in place" message at 4:27pm on December 5 due to a suspect on campus. The suspect was apprehended by Salem police and the shelter in place message was lifted at 4:46pm.
The situation began in downtown Salem and involved a non-Willamette person. Salem police advised Willamette's office of campus safety to send out the alert when the suspect entered campus. The person was apprehended and the initial report of weapons (knives) was in error.
All scheduled events and activities, including Willamette's popular holiday lighting event, were unaffected and went on as planned.
The message below was sent from David Douglass, dean of campus life, to the Willamette community at 5:32pm on December 5:
Dear Willamette Community,
As you may know from the emergency notifications issued over the past hour, a concern arose this evening that led the police to request that everyone on campus shelter in place. That concern has now been resolved, and I'm writing to provide as much additional information as is available.
The Salem Police Department report that an incident involving a non-Willamette person began downtown and led to campus, culminating between the Pi Phi and DG sorority houses. The person was apprehended without injuries. The initial report of weapons (knives) was in error, as no knives were found. The person is reported to have been behaving irrationally, and was taken into custody and removed from campus.
So far, all campus events remain on schedule and unaffected. If more or different information emerges, we will convey it to you as soon as possible.