FGCU police detain three males with pellet guns near Eagle Hall; student discipline to be pursued
An incident Monday morning that had FGCU University Police checking a report of males with pellet guns on campus was determined to be a violation of university rules and regulations rather than a criminal action and the university is pursuing discipline through the student conduct process.
The incident began with a campus Rave alert issued shortly after 12:30 a.m. Monday that said an anonymous report came into university police about a possible male subject at Eagle Hall with a firearm.
Subsequent alerts at 1:04 and 2:04 a.m. said campus police officers detained three males in Eagle Hall for having pellet guns shaped as AR15's.
A statement from Chief James D. Slapp of the FGCU Police Department outlined the incident and police response:
"Overnight, our campus community received a series of RAVE alerts regarding male subjects in possession of firearms (later determined to be AR15-style pellet guns) in the Eagle Hall residential building."
Slapp said that after police received the anonymous 911 call about a possible male subject in camouflage at Eagle Hall with a firearm, officers began canvassing the area and issued a campus-wide alert through the RAVE notification system.
The notification led to a tip that three subjects with firearms had entered the Eagle Hall residential building. Another resident reported hearing people in the hallway firing what sounded like airsoft guns.
"Officers tracked muddy footprints to a residential unit on the second floor, where the three male students live," Slapp said in his statement. "The students, who were found playing videogames, told officers they had recently been outside on a nearby nature trail. The students put on camouflage and orange construction vests, and took an Orbeez AR-15-style gun, which uses gel pellets, and a Crossman pellet rifle with them outside."
Slapp said the three male students were taken to the on-campus police station for questioning and statements, the guns were seized for administrative proceedings, and the subjects were returned to their dorm room. No damage was found by police in the hallway.
During questioning at the police station, a university police report on the incident said the suspects at first denied having more than one pellet gun but eventually admitted to the second one.
Additionally, police said that while canvassing the area to look for potential damage they came across a white board with a derogatory message about "Whoever snitched .... hope your content on ruining our lives."
The university police determined that while no crime was committed, a violation of university rules and regulations occurred.
"As a result, the university is pursuing discipline through the student conduct process," Slapp's statement said. "We encourage you to report anything suspicious that you see or hear to UPD. This partnership is vital to providing a safe and secure environment on campus. In urgent situations, call 911 or dial (239) 590-1900, or you can use the Guardian Eagle App to send tips via text messages and call 911 with the touch of the button. For more information about the app, visit www.fgcu.edu/upd/raveguardian."
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