Alleged Gunman was Instigator at Parish Center, No Weapons Found

Alleged Gunman was Instigator at Parish Center, No Weapons Found

At 9:10 a.m. on August 8, the Department of Public Safety received its first phone call about an alleged gunman walking on SLU’s campus between Pius Library and Cook Hall. From the library, an employee observed a suspicious bulge in the man’s waistband and notified authorities, according to James Moran, the Director of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Agitated, the man then approached a maintenance worker and accused another individual, who was located off campus, of brandishing a gun.

With the possibility of two individuals carrying weapons, police responded immediately and approached the man with the bulge in his pocket at Grand and Lindell. What was suspected to be a gun turned out to be a piece of wood covered with cloth inside his waistband, said Moran.

“This individual turned out to be someone who was running through campus, telling people that there was a guy flourishing a gun at him, and he was the same person that the [employee] at Pius saw. He was also the same person that the other [worker] saw, who walked into Pius and was confronted by the man,” Moran said.

Once being confronted at Grand and Lindell, the man pointed to another individual by the College Church parish center, which had a line of people waiting to enter the food pantry. This second man allegedly pointed a gun at the first during an altercation.

After being searched, officers determined that this second man had no weapon on him.

“Based on what the people in the line said, the individual who was running through campus was the instigator,” Moran said. “He caused problems in the line, from yelling at people to cursing at people, and he apparently started cursing at the other man’s wife.”

An argument between the two men formed, which Moran said, resulted in a verbal altercation, and nothing else. Because the first man felt threatened, he proceeded to run onto SLU’s campus and made accusations about the other pointing a gun at him.

There was never a weapon located, other than a piece of wood in the first man’s waistband. Both individuals were detained because there were prior warrants out for their arrests. No SLU students, faculty or staff were involved other than the two who reported the man on campus.

An all-clear was issued at 9:46 a.m.