University Relations and Communications


March 24, 2010


Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Montana State University Billings was under a short lockdown Wednesday because of a report of weapons on the main campus.


The lockdown ended 30 minutes later when it was determined that it was a case of mistaken identity. The students were actually ROTC cadets who were carrying “dummy” or non-working weapons across campus to their car.


There were no injuries or arrests made in the incident, according to MSU Billings police.


Chancellor Ron Sexton said he was pleased with the cooperation of faculty, staff and students during the lockdown.


“We took the weapons report very seriously and wanted to ensure the safety of everyone on campus while the investigation was under way,” Sexton said. “We’ve all learned hard lessons from Virginia Tech and other tragedies and we take our responsibilities to students, faculty and staff very seriously.”


Sexton also thanked the student who made the initial report.


“We really appreciate their attentiveness and willingness to say something,” he said. “That’s very important.”


An all-campus lockdown was issued through the emergency notification system at the university at 12:25 p.m. following a report that students were seen carrying weapons near the Liberal Arts building on the MSU Billings main campus. The emergency notifications went out via e-mail, the phone system, digital clocks and reader boards in the buildings and over loudspeakers.


University Police and officers from the Billings Police Department responded to the report and started an investigation.


During that investigation, it was determined that two ROTC cadets had been carrying dummy weapons to their cars across campus at the time of the report. Those items are non-working weapons used in training.


After confirming that there was no emergency, an all-clear message went out to the university community at 12:57 p.m.