Normal activities resume at Princeton after early-morning incident; posted Sat., March 7, 3:38 a.m.

March 7, 2009, 3:38 a.m.

Princeton University's Department of Public Safety has confirmed that there is no threat to the campus following an investigation that ended with the location of a male student found with a non-functional firearm in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 7. Public Safety at 1:20 a.m. issued an "all clear" message to the campus community after first notifying students earlier in the morning of an unconfirmed report of a weapon on campus.

An all-clear was issued after the male student was detained and it was determined that he had been carrying a permanently disabled and non-functional firearm through parts of campus to show a friend.

"We are satisfied with our response to this situation," said Mark Burstein, the University's Executive Vice President. "Both our Department of Public Safety and the Princeton Borough Police responded quickly, and the University's emergency notification system functioned smoothly."

At 11:24 p.m. Friday, March 6, Public Safety received a report of a student-age male carrying what appeared to be a weapon in the area of Spelman Hall. Public Safety and Borough Police were immediately dispatched to the scene to investigate and to canvass the area. A second call to Public Safety was received at 11:29 p.m. with a similar report of an individual carrying what appeared to be a weapon.

After a Public Safety investigation determined the threat to be credible, a message was posted on the University homepage at 12:42 a.m. alerting the campus to the situation and instructing individuals to stay inside until further notice. An emergency alert also was sent to students through the University's emergency notification system via phone, e-mail and text message.

The alert instructed students, "Do not go outside to travel to another building. Close and lock the doors and windows," and the home page announcement further encouraged individuals with information to contact Public Safety.

At 12:59 a.m., a male student who received the emergency alert message called Public Safety to report he was the individual in question. Public Safety officers and Princeton Borough police met with the student at a dorm on campus, and he told officers he was taking the nonfunctional weapon to show a friend. After the male was detained and the investigation determined there was no threat, an "all clear" message was posted on the University homepage and sent to students through the emergency notification system. The message advised individuals that the situation had been resolved and normal activities could resume.

Counseling services will be made available to students who feel they are in need of support following the incident. Students who would like to speak with counselors are encouraged to contact Counseling and Psychological Services in University Health Services by calling (609) 258-3285. Pastoral counseling also is available through the Office of Religious Life.

Members of the campus community are encouraged to review the University's emergency procedures available on the University's Emergency Preparedness website at: