Updated: 03/06/2014 4:09 PM
Created: 03/06/2014 8:33 AM WDIO.com
By: Logan Gruber, Laurie Stribling
A gun scare at UMD closed down Kirby Drive near campus for about an hour Thursday morning. Students were notified via email and text message, but some said the alert was confusing.
"It was not very clear," student Michael Joyce said.
"I just thought the text message was kind of vague," student Brittany Boughner said.
The alert message came after a report about a gun on campus at about 7:16 a.m.
University Police said they were called to the Kirby Plaza Bus Hub where a witness saw two suspects with what looked like a weapon. The witness said it fell out of one of the suspect's clothing.
Three minutes later, the two suspects were found on Kirby Drive between the Swenson Building and West College Street. A University Police officer stopped the two males at gunpoint.
"Both males immediately became physically and verbally uncooperative," Sgt. Tim LeGarde said.
Ten minutes later, at about 7:30 a.m., Duluth Police officers arrested the 19-year-old and 15-year-old suspects for disorderly conduct, underage consumption and possesion of marijuana. They found an air-soft gun and live, firearm ammunition on the scene.
"A few kids had seen two individuals on the ground by police being detained," Joyce said.
LeGarde said there's a chance they could face more serious charges.
"It was good to know police were right there on the scene getting things under control," student Amanda Hass said.
While some students were thankful for the quick response, other students said the alert message came too late. It was sent about a half hour after the arrest.
"It doesn't really help much to know after the fact that something happened," student Andrew Florestano said.
University Police said they sent the alert as soon as possible.
Other students said they didn't understand what they were suppose to do.
"I don't think a lot of people knew what 'shelter in place' meant," Boughner said.
"The last sentence of the text was 'shelter in place'," Florestano said. "I don't really know what that meant."
University Police said it means students should stay where they are because a full lockdown at a campus like UMD is difficult.
"This is a large campus with lots of exits and entrances," Lt. Sean Huls said. "We don't have the staffing to completely shut down or close off campus."
University Police said they plan on sending out a follow up email explaining what "shelter in place" means. They said they've tried educating students about it before.
University Police also said the quick response Thursday proves they're prepared for situations like this.
Alleged Wisc. Bank Robber in St. Louis County Jail
A man was arrested in Duluth Saturday night after he allegedly robbed a bank in Eau Claire, Wisc. the night before. The Eau Claire Police Department responded to a bank robbery at Wells Fargo Bank in Eau Claire on Friday night.
Licenses, Deer Population Down for Wisconsin Deer Opener
The Wisconsin firearm deer hunting tradition got off to a safe start as Department of Natural Resources officials said they had received no reports of accidental shootings or other injuries by mid-afternoon Sunday on the opener of the state's nine-day gun deer hunt.
Northlanders Give Back in Preparation for Holiday Season
Northlanders gave back on Saturday in preparation for the holiday season. It was Family Volunteer Day at the Duluth Library, and folks participated in several friendly projects.
"By Us, For Us" Meeting to Discuss Vision for Equity in Duluth
Duluth's Native and African heritage communities came together on Saturday to share experiences and ideas at the 1st United Methodist Church. The meeting called "By Us, For Us" invited people of color, African Americans and Native Americans to come together to break bread and learn about each other culturally.
MNsure Enrollments, Renewals Approach 8,000
Minnesota's health insurance exchange says it has enrolled nearly 8,000 Minnesotans in health plans in the first week of open enrollment this fall. The deadline for enrolling in coverage that takes effect Jan. 1 is Dec. 15.