UM Students, Faculty React to Campus-wide Lock down - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

UM Students, Faculty React to Campus-wide Lock down

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MISSOULA -

University of Montana officials locked down campus this morning after Office of Public Safety officers got a tip the suspect was spotted near the university.

UM officials sent out campus-wide alerts, warning students to get behind locked doors, or to stay away until the coast was clear.

Police also believe the suspect could be Kevin Anthony Briggs, a rapist who escaped from Bozeman Saturday morning.

Students, faculty and staff got the text alert at 10:15 Thursday morning.

The lock down lasted until 12:50 p.m., while police canvassed the area and even went door-to-door, searching for the suspect.

For a little over two hours, the University of Montana campus was deserted, while students and faculty stayed behind locked doors.

"Someone came in and told us to lock the doors, I mean, we just finished out class and after that we were just watching YouTube videos basically," said Ryan Mitchel, a UM student.

Most students used the time to finish homework, while others simply relaxed.

Mitchel added, "I mean, the whole lock down, I thought it was a little extreme, but I mean, they're keeping everyone safe, so."

Some students even ignored the warning, and left the safety of locked-down buildings.

Tuesday Rogers, a senior, said, "I felt confident in all the police I'd seen, so I chose to just walk right off…"

Others said they thought UM officials made the right decision to lock down campus as a precaution.

"You know they need to take all precautions, it was in fact, two blocks away, so it was necessary in my opinion," said UM student Keenan Goodman.

UM officials said this was the first real test of the campus emergency alert system.

"Again, I'm very pleased with how it went, given the circumstances," said President Royce Engstrom said they made the decision to reopen campus after communicating with Missoula and UM police officers.

"Because the suspect has not been seen in the area now, since that early time," Engstrom said.

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