Concordia security scare generates swift response

The Concordian

MONTREAL (CUP) ? Concordia University’s Loyola campus was shut down Tuesday morning after police responded to a 911 call about a man wearing camouflage clothing carrying what looked like a suspicious package in the Richard J. Renaud Science Complex. Some 30 police cars surrounded the campus area minutes after the 9:30 a.m. call on Jan. 9, cutting off traffic flow in a two-block radius around the campus. The building was evacuated around 10 a.m. while a tactical team searched the school. Police said they found a two-foot long wooden stick after they searched a locker on the second floor of the Science Complex.

?The object was some kind of wooden object, possibly used in martial arts. Using the surveillance video of the school we were able to retrace the person that was described, this person went to a locker inside the school, put the object inside the locker and left,? said police spokesperson Laurent Gingras.

Students Helena Gateman and Lydia Anber had just left class and were walking to the CJ building bookstore when someone said there was a gunman on campus. They ducked into nearby room and called security. ?My heart started pounding, I didn’t know what was going on. We didn’t know if it was true,? said Anber.

During an interview with media, Concordia spokesperson Chris Mota said the police presence was justified. ?Did we react strongly?? she said. ?Yes. I think it is our responsibility to react.? She also praised students and staff for their collaboration. ?I didn’t see any panic at all,? she said. ?The students who were evacuated were all very calm.?

Police said no charges would be filed against the individual. Students re-entered the buildings around 12:30 p.m., though classes were cancelled until 4 p.m.