Police: Light Stand Mistaken for Gun at WestConn in Danbury
Following a gun scare that caused Western Connecticut State University to issue a "shelter in place," and prompted the local law enforcement agencies to spring into action, police have completed their investigation of the incident. Thankfully, it was a light stand.
On Tuesday, November 20, a concerned WCSU student called 9-1-1 and reportedly what they believed was a man carrying a gun inside of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the school's west side campus.
Over the course of a few hours on that afternoon, agencies including the WCSU police, Danbury police and the Connecticut State Police worked diligently with Mayor Mark Boughton and school officials to lock down and clear the entire area to ensure the safety of our community, while keeping the public informed of what was going on.
At the end of the day, the reports turned out to be nothing more than a misunderstanding, but the situation, while it speaks to the current climate of our society, was handled in the best way possible, and the first responders and investigators involved should be commended for a job well-done.
"I want to emphasize that even though this was a case of mistaken identity, we must remain vigilant," University President Dr. John B. Clark said in a statement. "Please observe the following rule: If you see a suspicious person or activity, even if you have a doubt, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY. The old adage of BETTER BE SAFE THAN SORRY certainly applies here at our university. In that regard, I want to recognize and applaud the actions of the student who made the 911 call. This student took the exact, right action and we should all be thankful and congratulate this student. This student’s quick and correct action is an example to us all and in an actual emergency could have saved countless lives."
The result of the thorough investigation from local law enforcement is very similar to that of another incident that occurred on the midtown campus of WCSU back in June of this year. That case was a bit different, and didn't involve such a thorough investigation since the "suspect" at the time immediately called the police himself when a microphone stand he was carrying was also mistaken for a gun.
While it's certainly upsetting that this is the world we live in these days, as a member of this community, the sort of diligence that was displayed by all who were involved is comforting.