News about yesterday's shuttle bus incident
UPDATE (9:15am, Thursday, September 26, 2013)
Salem State University will hold a press briefing in front of the university police station on Central Campus at 9:45 am today. Chief of Police Gene Lebonte will provide an update on yesterday’s campus incident.
UPDATE (11 pm, Wednesday, September 25, 2013)
Timothy Wells, the suspect in the assault on Central Campus today, was taken into custody this evening after 10 pm. He was arrested in upstate New York, outside of Chatham.
The university will continue to update you with any additional information that becomes available.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT (5:18 pm)
Dear Campus Community,
I am sure that by now you have heard that there was an assault on campus this morning. I want to make sure you have the details as we know them at this time.
At 11:10 on Wednesday morning a young man riding one of our shuttle buses attacked a student with a knife. She received a laceration to her arm. The driver of the shuttle came to the aid of the student and he, too, was attacked and injured. Thankfully, neither injury is life threatening. The suspect was seen fleeing the scene on foot and getting into a car that was last seen driving down Jefferson Street away from campus.
A short time later there were several reports of individuals on campus who resembled the suspect’s description and for that reason the campus was asked to shelter in place while university police investigated. They confirmed that the sightings were not of the suspect and after a thorough search of campus, the shelter in place order was lifted.
University police are working with local authorities to pursue the suspect. Extra patrols have been added to campus. It is believed that the suspect has left the immediate area and there is no reason to believe he will return to campus. However, until the suspect is in custody, I ask that you take extra care when moving about the campus and community. Please travel in pairs or groups and be extra vigilant. Please report anything suspicious to the university police at 978-542-6111.
While Salem State University is generally an extremely safe campus, this type of incident is an unfortunate reality in today’s world. I want to praise the efforts of our university police and the city of Salem police department on their rapid response to this situation. I particularly want to thank the driver of the shuttle bus, who bravely intervened when he saw that one of our students being assaulted. Again, we are thankful he wasn’t hurt more seriously.
There will be a full review of today’s actions, and our campus security policies related to the incident. As always, the safety of our community is our top priority.
Patricia Maguire Meservey
UPDATE (2:35 pm)
The shelter in place ban has been lifted as of 2:35 pm. All day and evening classes remain canceled for the rest of today.
UPDATE (12:35 pm)
This message is from the Salem State University Police Department
The suspect from the stabbing that occurred earlier today might have returned to campus. The entire Salem State university campus is to shelter in place at this time. Doors should be closed and locked, refrain going near windows until further notice.
At approximately 11:10 AM on September 25, 2013, an unknown assailant assaulted two people with a knife on one of the university shuttle busses in the Central Campus parking lot. A female student sustained a laceration to arm. The driver of the shuttle attempted to assist victim and received a minor puncture wound to the chest. The student was treated on scene and driver was transported to local hospital.
The suspect is described as a white male, with long red/ blonde hair, some facial hair and approximately 20 years old. He was wearing a white shirt, gray baseball cap, khaki pants and red sneakers. The suspect fled campus on foot towards the CVS and was later seen and pursued in a 1999 Toyota Camry bearing lic. plate 804NTM heading down Jefferson Ave towards downtown Salem.
Should you see an individual or vehicle matching this description on campus, please contact the Salem State University Police at 978.542.6111 or anonymously at 978.542.TIPS (8477).