(courtesy latimes.com)

“An anonymous caller told police his roommate was headed to Yale University in New Haven, Conn., to shoot people, and witnesses spotted a man with a shotgun or rifle in the area, prompting Monday’s campus shutdown,” latimes.com reports. “In a phone call that lasted only a few seconds, a male caller told a 911 operator that ‘his roommate was on his way to the university, to Yale University, to shoot people,’ said New Haven Police Department spokesman David Hartman in a televised news conference. No shots or injuries have been reported as police swarmed the Ivy League campus, and Hartman could not confirm any arrests or detentions, nor provide a description of the suspect.” The Yale website announces: “Out of an abundance of caution, Police will be doing a room to room search starting with the residential college areas. Shelter in Place continues.”

74 Responses to Yale Lockdown Update: Caller Said Roommate Wanted to Shoot People. Campus Cops Go Room-to-Room

  1. Those calls are traced, right? I hope law enforcement follows up on that. If they can figure out who it was, and if it turns out to be a hoax, or even an overblown situation, hang ’em high. Make an example.

    • Would it be unreasonable to require someone calling in to provide some contact information and ID for themselves? Yes, I can understand it might not be possible in the heat of the moment, but seriously…things like this and like SWATing have to stop.

    • Call was from a phone booth. Trace away! It is probably all a hoax. The person the eye-witness saw with a gun was probably not a gun or perhaps campus police.

        • Yeah; I saw a cartoon of a Bigfoot using a pay telephone. Two kids were standing nearby, and the first kid says, “LOOK! A BIGFOOT!”

          The other kid says, “LOOK! A PAY PHONE!”

    • “Enhanced 911” always gives the dispatcher the address of the calling phone even though they will still ask the caller for an address, but if the caller uses a burner phone, there is not much that can be done.

    • Voice over IP can have fake addresses, cell phones where the account holder is mom and dad, or where they move around a lot and never bother updating their address, all make tracing harder than it used to be.

      • Nice long break! In my undergrad days (not at Yale), classes ran on the Wed. before Thanksgiving, though profs with afternoon sections usually cancelled or let you out early. Morning profs usually held you to it, though.

        Easy going at Yale, I guess. Although, what would you expect from a school that calls this and next month’s festivities “November Break” and “December Break”, instead of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Geez, they can’t even be happy with the secular and sanitized “Winter Holidays?”

        • Yep, I don’t get off until Weds. Sucks, since all my professors are piling on a ton of stuff to do for the two days we have class this week.

  2. Sounds even more like a hoax to me. This from http://emergency.yale.edu/ is just ridiculous.

    “Yale Alert – THIS IS NOT A TEST

    Update message to the Yale Community, November 25, 1:45 p.m.

    Out of an abundance of caution, Police will be doing a room to room search starting with the residential college areas. Shelter in Place continues.”

    Students in university housing often are required sign away their right to privacy but this is ridiculous. We are just training them that such searches are acceptable.

    • I lived in a barracks for my whole hitch. I never got used to loss of rights. I doubt one campus search at Yale is going to condition people to accept house to house searches as acceptable.

      • You’re possessed of more common sense and a better understanding of the Constitution than Yale students.

      • Perfect way to do just that. Create a fake and anonymous scare and use it as the justification for a room-to-room dragnet for drugs, etc. Clever little government.

      • Occam’s razer wins the day. It’s either a prank (pay phone is an indicator) or a hoplophobe who sees a gun crazed killer wherever he/she goes.

        Drug legalization is now cool and therefore Yale is ok with weed in the dorms.

        • I am self-appointed president of the Society to Ridicule and Disparage Occam’s Razor (SRDOR), and I continue to be unimpressed by Occam’s Razor. Not infrequently, the true explanation of something turns out to be quite complicated, indeed. Any tool that fails as frequently as Occam’s Razor is NOT a tool anyone should be relying upon. Unless it’s the only tool available. I don’t like using a hammer to cut wood.

        • That’s because what you accept as the true explanation differs so wildly from what virtually everyone else accepts as the true explanation.

        • Why should I care about what low-information “virtually everyone else” thinks? Why should I care about what you think? I certainly don’t care what you say.

        • By low-information you mean the people are aren’t your “special” kind of genius?

          Or those that accept that the hypothesis which requires the least assumptions (simpler) is generally better, all evidence being equal? Those sane enough to realize how absurd it is that Yale would create a hoax that would likely diminish its own reputation, involve hundreds of law enforcement personnel and cost huge amounts of money to… try and enforce some low-priority law that they probably don’t support?

          I’m not sure if it would be nice or terrifying to live on your reality where absolutely everything bad that happens is a conspiracy, the government is all-powerful and nothing is a result of coincidence or some lone nut. Of course if that were true, shouldn’t the men in black have already gotten to you? Or have they?!? Are you really a plant made to sound alike so no one suspects?!? Is the omnipotent government trying to trick us into thinking conspiracy nuts are crazy by posting as one?

          Mind. Blown.

        • Occam’s razor is about avoiding wild speculation. Remember it contains provisions for changing the explanation as more information is gathered and only stipulates what is ‘likely’ to be true.

  3. Given the quality of the area surrounding Yale, it would be big news if there were no armed persons nearby. Especially this week, when there are no classes and anyone who can leave is on a train or plane back to mom and dad’s place where Dad will carve the turkey and Mom will wash their underwear.

    • Whose to say if they wanna find drugs they dont have a “call” can u say 4th amendment

      I have to admit, that occurred to me, too. It all sounds remarkably similar to a cell block “shakedown” in a prison. Lock down the population, saturate the area with cops, and search everything.

    • Who is to say that Yale isn’t just a figment of the mass media? There might not be such a school. Any records or references to it could just be planted by the illuminati in preparation for this moment. That’s about as reasonable as a school taking an incredibly stupid risk to find some drugs. I don’t know if you’ve been to a liberal arts school in the last fifty years, but they don’t give a shit about drugs. They’ll punish someone if they’re so obvious that it becomes a problem, but that’s about it.

  4. More of the same solicitous drama continues; beware the big bad gun(man).

    Any sign of Shannon yet? She’s bound to pop up soon, impulsive opportunist that she and Bloomberg are, coming up on the anniversary of Sandy Hook and all.

    You know that’s going to be one big grabber fest; lots of red.

  5. Shelter-in-place/lock-down lifted, with the exception of Old Campus and Calhoun College. More info to follow by email.

    Sounds like they’ve got the bad guy or the weed surrounded.

  6. I think a good way to nudge fence-sitters in the direction of liberty is to expose them to an overbearing government.

  7. “Man with gun” calls are the new bomb threat, closely followed by “SWATting”.

    At what point do we get better response protocols for MWG calls? This bullshyt is costing us millions.

    • The real solution is the one they are unwilling to consider: Allow concealed carry on campus.

      If even that portion of students who were old enough (over 21) carried that could be 1 out of 4 (roughly), plus professors, staff and maintenance personnel of all sorts. Not odds I would like as a perp. The 911 call in those situations would go along the lines of: “Thank you for calling, we have dispatched an ambulance and a campus security officer to the scene. We wish your roommate luck should he reach the E.R.”

      • I agree with the carry…

        as for the response, the sightings of a man with a gun are a lot different than just a phone call. I think it’s funny how it seems like everyone here criticizes the police in these scenarios for not doing X, Y and Z fast enough and then criticize them for for acting too quickly when they try to get ahead of the situation.

  8. Out of an abundance of caution, we will now do something that is aggressive, intrusive, and not cautious at all.

    What on God’s green earth would they do if someone was ACTUALLY shooting?

      • That, R, is the reply to Hannibal’s comment above. When there’s not a shot fired, merely a rumor insubstantial enough to support even reasonable suspicion, the place fills up with LEOs very quickly. When the call is ‘four people down, active shooter,’ well (and naturally) everything slooows dooown.

        Don’t the New Haven LEOs have to don a blue blazer before responding to that call? Shouldn’t Yale’s main campus be donated to a drug rehab non-profit, leaving their teaching function to Princeton?

  9. So if I didn’t want to “shelter in place”. I don’t have to right? I mean – there is no law requiring a shelter in place right? What if I want to go to the store to buy bananas and rent a movie – that’s my business right?

    Searching room to room without a warrant seems a bit sketchy to me. More the reason to live off campus away from the “disarmed mass shooting zone” “school zone.”

    • There’s no law, but there is the risk that you could end up detained and then have to come to TTAG and complain about it… especially if you’re carrying curtain rods around or a cello case lol

      • I think you’re quite good-natured about the LEO complaints, all things considered. Now to type my next complaint….

        The steamer trunk sent with Yale freshmen, the one they’ve been using for summer camp all those years, should, in the future, include an International Orange vest for occasions such as this.

  10. Somewhere in CT, with the TV news playing in the background, a couple of high school kids are rolling on the floor laughing.

  11. Only a matter of time before just saying “Gun” will initiate a “Shelter in Place”.

    “Thought-Crime does not entail Death, Thought-Crime is death!”

  12. Conditioning America’s next generation of good little subservient drones. Not sure which is worse, the growing frequency of pathetic incidents in this once free nation, or my growing lack of surprise with them.

  13. So often is this sort of situation going to be used by students in the future to lock down the campus on the day they have a final they didn’t prepare for?

  14. Yale? I figure the call was made by a guy two minutes away from dropping in on a really hot chick he met at the library. There’s got to be an upside for somebody in this whole campus lock-down bit.

    • “Does the 4th Amendment apply to dorm rooms?”

      I would think so unless you signed away your rights. A sample Yale housing contract can be found here:

      http://gradhousing.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/sample-contract-2011-12.pdf

      One interesting point to me is that it specifically defines this as a license and not a lease. I don’t know if there is any precedent regarding the 4th amendment in a license vs a lease. My guess is that the reason for Yale using a license has to do with the ease of revoking the license and the fact that it is non-transferable. Evictions are much more difficult to acomplish under a lease.

      The section on “UNIT ENTRY AND INSPECTION” says they can enter with reasonable notice but reasonable notice is not defined anywhere. They can also enter without prior notice for health, safety, and repair reasons.

      University housing contracts tend to sign away a good portion or all of your 4th ammendment rights.

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