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USU Eastern campus near lock down after gunshots; Price resident arrested

October 8th, 2012 Posted in Opinion

By Seth Richards
USU Eastern Eagle news editor

PRICE—The USU Eastern Price campus was in a state of near lock down and confusion on Sept. 25 when a local resident allegedly shot a high-powered rifle into the air near campus.

At about 6 p.m., campus police officer Cletus Steele was in the parking lot behind the USU Eastern purchasing and receiving building when he heard what he identified as a rifle shot. Steele was the first officer on the scene at a residence at 660 N. 200 East. Price city police and county and Utah state police officers also responded.

Witnesses said they saw Richard Schade step into his front yard and fire two to four times into the air with either a high-powered rifle or a shotgun.

Officers were unable to contact the resident Schade by telephone, and tried to communicate with him by megaphone from the front of the house.

Meanwhile, USU Eastern Police Chief James Prettyman contacted Blaney Hanvey, campus residential life coordinator, who sent texts to resident assistants: “Please have all residents stay inside. We need them to stay out of the way of police. Don’t give any more information—possible gun.”

Hanvey later said that the request not to give further information to residents was in an effort to stop the spread of rumors and not a gag order.

Campus police officer Jason Marshal, who was in the Bunnel Dmitrich Athletic Center advised students to avoid north Price if they needed to leave campus, not to loiter outdoors and to stay out of the way of the police. Marshal started in the Western Instructional Building, closest to the shooting, and the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center. The BDAC was also effectively closed.

“Nobody was locked down.” Prettyman said, “People perceived it as being a lock down. It really didn’t meet the definition because we didn’t send out a Code Blue warning.”

After conferring with Steve Mecham, USU director of public safety in Logan, Prettyman contacted vice chancellor Brad King and associate vice chancellor Alex Herzog in an attempt to execute a Code Blue emergency warning. Only 136 USU Eastern students and faculty are  signed up for Code Blue.

Schade was arrested and charged with use of a firearm within city limits, a class B misdemeanor, and released.


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