Editor's Note: For details on the path of incidents reported, take a look at this interactive map by Madison Spratto.
University of New Mexico students, staff and faculty received an alarming alert Thursday morning about a man on campus who pulled a gun on several people.
According to the LoboAlert — sent out at 10:38 a.m. — a dark-skinned male wearing a green pancho started heading south towards Central Avenue after brandishing a gun in front of multiple people at the Duck Pond.
Lt. Trace Peck, of the UNM Police Department, said that the first incident took place at the Golden Pride restaurant on Lomas Boulevard. This was followed by a second report from two joggers who saw the man holding a gun on the same street — Peck said he did not know whether or not they were under a direct threat from the suspect.
The third incident occurred at the Duck Pond, where the suspect pulled his gun out and pointed it at a girl who was walking by. No shots were fired, and the man proceeded to run south of campus, according to Peck.
A suspect matching the description was apprehended at Lead Avenue and Yale Boulevard SE. The investigation is currently still open.
Peck said the Albuquerque Police Department made the arrest — APD was conducting a joint investigation with UNMPD.
There has been great speculation as to why a lockdown was not initiated at the time of the first LoboAlert, as seen on public Twitter posts throughout the day.
Peck said this decision was based on the information available to UNMPD at the time.
“We didn’t feel there was an immediate threat,” he said. “If he was going through a building, we would’ve reacted differently.”
The incident came just one day after a mass shooting occurred at a high school in Parkland, Florida, resulting in the deaths of 17 people.
UNM President Chaouki Abdallah addressed this and more in a written statement he released today about the incident. In it, he reaffirmed his “complete trust in UNMPD (and) our emergency-management team.”
“Given the senseless school shootings that continue to occur on a seemingly regular basis, the safety of our campus community is paramount,” Abdallah said.
Peck said that he spent nearly all day fielding phone calls from concerned parents calling to see if their children were safe. This resulted from a televised news report that showed a bird’s-eye view of students running into Popejoy Hall to get out of the rain, which confused some viewers into thinking that there was an active shooter on campus, he said.
He did not specify which news outlet made the broadcast.
“It made our jobs a lot more difficult,” he said.
According to KOB, the gun the suspect brandished was a BB gun.
Peck said that, given the amount of information at the time, UNMPD did a great job responding to the situation.
Kyle Land is a news editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kyleoftheland.