Feb. 1, 2022
Dear CU Boulder community,
This morning, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies converged near our campus to apprehend a suspect. This was a sensitive, rapidly evolving situation involving the coordination of multiple public safety agencies. Our CU Police Department worked with the Boulder Police Department to confirm our ability to safely operate our campus today.
The suspect is an individual who had previously made threats against another university. Local law enforcement determined last night that the suspect was in Boulder and placed him under surveillance. Boulder Police collaborated with CUPD and other agencies as officials planned the appropriate course of action. Because the suspect was under constant surveillance, CUPD determined that there was not an active threat to the campus.
This morning, the Boulder Regional SWAT Team made contact with the suspect. To ensure safety in the immediate vicinity, a nearby elementary school, as well as fraternity and sorority houses in the area were evacuated, and the University Memorial Center was designated as a place where those evacuated could shelter. In coordination with Boulder Police, the campus sent a CU Boulder Alert informing our community about the “shelter-in-place” and asking our community members to avoid the area near Broadway and Euclid Avenue. At no time during the developing incident did public safety determine a direct risk to our campus.
By approximately 11 a.m. the suspect had been taken into custody, but Boulder Police maintained the shelter-in-place order to prevent people from entering the area while they secured the scene and ensured there was no ongoing threat. As soon as we were authorized, we alerted our campus that the shelter in place had been lifted, and minutes later Boulder Police and the District Attorney’s office held a press conference to announce the suspect had been taken into custody.
I understand that these incidents cause anxiety and concern in our community. For many, this is a reminder of previous events and losses we have sustained. I am grateful for law enforcement’s rapid efforts to identify and detain the suspect.
In these unforeseen and emergent situations, our campus works closely with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners. We understand that information proliferates quickly on social media, and we have a duty to disseminate only factual information in concert with public safety entities. If the ongoing investigation into this incident determines any safety concerns affecting the university, we will notify our campus. We will also continue working with our partners to review our safety alerting procedures to ensure we are providing our campus with critical, relevant and timely emergency updates.
For any in our community who were impacted by today’s shelter in place order, I ask that instructors and supervisors work with them to ensure accommodations are made for missed class time or work. I also want to remind our campus community of support resources that are available:
The Office of Victim Assistance (OVA) is available to all CU Boulder community members experiencing major life disruption and provides free, confidential counseling, advocacy, information and referrals. OVA and is available 24/7 at 303-492-8855.
Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) provides free, confidential mental health services for students. They can be reached 24/7 at 303-492-2277.
The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) offers counseling and consulting services to employees, both in-person and via telehealth. FSAP can be reached at 303-492-3020.
Our CU Boulder community has been through so much over the past two years. I want to express my gratitude to all of you for your patience and understanding as we work through public safety incidents like this. And I want to thank our CU Police Department and the other responding agencies who work tirelessly to keep our campus and community safe.
Philip DiStefano, chancellor