Today we experienced a threatening situation in the Folsom Field Champions Center. At approximately 9:15 a.m., a 911 call was received regarding an individual threatening people with a machete outside the facility. Officers from the CU Boulder and City of Boulder police departments responded quickly and in the ensuing confrontation, the suspect was killed. Specific details of the incident will become available as the investigation takes its course.
Later in the day, a number of calls were made to police dispatch regarding unconfirmed reports of an active threat at three separate locations - two off campus and one in the UMC. Police actively responded to the calls, and within minutes determined that the UMC and the other two locations were clear. However, due to the large number of personal belongings left in the UMC, it must now be swept by police teams.
The Champions Center and the UMC will remain closed as the investigations and sweeps continue. Officers at the UMC will help affected parties access their belongings later today. We will update information for access to this building on alerts.colorado.edu later today. This site, and the CU Boulder Twitter and Facebook accounts are the definitive source of updates to our campus community.
I know there were concerns by some that the campus was not closed. We determined that the actual threat that occurred this morning was quickly contained and brought under control by the police. Other activities were quickly determined to be false reports and that there was no active threat to the community. I know this was confusing and alarming for people in these locations, and we support anyone who decided they needed to leave. However, we did not feel a complete campus closure was necessary and could have created additional confusion. We are all breathing easier knowing our students, faculty, staff and campus visitors are safe - and our thoughts and prayers are with all affected by today’s violence.
The safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors is our top priority. Our campus police department frequently trains with our regional law enforcement partners to prepare for situations like this.
I thank everyone who responded quickly and calmly to the CU Boulder Alert regarding today’s incident. It is a sobering reminder of how we must be prepared to act in emergency situations. I encourage all members of our community to think through how they might respond in a situation such as this, and you may wish to review our campus information on how you can respond in an active harm situation.
Finally, I want to express my deep appreciation to the emergency personnel, both from the campus and the community, who sprang into action and brought this situation to rapid resolution. The willingness of our first responders to run into dangerous situations is a testament to their selflessness and their training, and we all are grateful.
For those impacted by the incident, I invite you to engage the support resources available through many offices on the Boulder campus. Learn more about those counseling resources here.
Please reach out to your fellow Buffs, and take the time to connect and make sure that the members of our community are OK.
Philip P. DiStefano,