Officials: UW-La Crosse student brings shotgun on campus

LA CROSSE (WITI) -- Officials in La Crosse are investigating after a student reportedly brought a shotgun onto campus on Thursday, April 18th.

Officials say the shotgun was not loaded. The student reportedly entered a classroom, made some non-verbal contact with a professor and then left.

Officials say the student cooperated fully when officers stopped him, putting the shotgun down when he was told to do so.

Officials say the student has had what was described as concerning behavior in the past

The campus was never shut down or placed on lockdown as a result of this incident.

Police are unsure of a motive for the incident. The student is being referred to court for the incident and is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation

Officials say the student had spoken earlier this morning, around 4:45 a.m. to an officer expressing that he had concerns about specific people on campus.  These people were notified about the student’s “concerns” prior to the incident.

UW-La Crosse's chancellor issued the following statement:

"Dear students and colleagues:

As you may know, earlier today our University Police were notified about an individual who appeared to be carrying a weapon on campus. Our officers responded and quickly apprehended that person. He was, indeed, found to be carrying an unloaded hunting rifle; and no ammunition was found on his person. This individual is now in police custody undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.

This incident unfolded very quickly and our police officers were able to apprehend the individual, even as a campus alert was being prepared. Therefore, the notice we all received this morning was modified to indicate there was no immediate threat to our campus community.

Nonetheless, this has been an unsettling experience for us all, and we know many of you have questions about what occurred. Likewise, there may be members of our campus community who would appreciate the opportunity to speak with a counselor. This afternoon at 4 o’clock in the Cartwright Center Ward Room we will be holding an Open Forum about this incident to answer any questions. Counsellors also will also be available at this session. So please come join us to learn more about this situation as well as campus safety protocols.

As I’ve said, our University Police responded very quickly and effectively. We owe them our deep gratitude for protecting us so well. And we can also be very grateful to the many UW-L people who saw the man with the weapon and immediately notified our police. Our policies worked very well in this highly unusual situation.



Joe Gow, Chancellor

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse"