Ohio University Closed Down While Police Search For Gunman

Ohio University is reportedly shutting down while the search for an armed suspect continues. The college has not been placed on lockdown because the gunman was spotted near and not on, the campus. Wednesday morning a man armed with a handgun reportedly robbed a woman, taking $5 before fleeing.

The suspect is approximately 6’1″ tall, black, has cornrows in his hair, and possesses a “strong body odor,” according to The Athens Messenger. The armed robber also reportedly has an unkempt goatee. The robbery victim described her armed attacker as approximately 35 years old.

The search for the man with a handgun began at the Station Street Apartments near West Union Street. The area is a short walk from campus and is home to hundreds of college students.

When asked for a comment by the local media, Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle had this to say:

“If we knew where he was, we’d have him.”

Many students welcome a break from walking to class in the rain and high winds, but are remaining cautious in their movements.

The Ohio University Police Department is assisting with the search. Security at both campus buildings and adjacent apartment complexes was stepped up as the search continued. Ohio University President Roderick McDavis notes he plans to reopen the campus on Thursday morning.

OU freshman Lauren Bishop had this to say when The Inquisitr asked if students should be allowed to carry guns on campus for self-defense:

“I would feel safer if I had a gun.”

An alert which went out on the Ohio University website told students and staff that the fugitive should be considered armed. The OU Students Affairs office has also initiated enhanced safety measures.

Visual Communications major Kelsey Bell had this to say about the gunman near campus:

“I think it’s good the university is taking precautionary measures in this situation. But, my professor wasn’t sure what to do because she hadn’t received a message about the closure. There was a lot of confusion about what we were supposed to do.”

All residential house staff have increased their presence in dorms and common areas, The Athens News notes. Staffers have also been positioned at all entrances of campus recreational facilities.

Do you think college students and staff should be able to carry guns on campus for personal protection?

[Image via Lauren Bishop]