A full story with updated information can be found at: https://usishield.com/28310/breaking-news/28310/
The Shield also spoke with Lieutenant Noah Robinson, from the Vanderburgh Sherriff’s Department about the two instances.
He said at this time the deputies on campus have been made aware and they are in close communication with Public Safety.
Robinson said they have not been asked to open an investigation due to the suspicious person report.
“As far as an allegation of a criminal act, we weren’t made aware of any crime,” he said. “But honestly someone carrying a firearm out there isn’t against the law but it is against campus policy and concerning to us. We are working with the university to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Robinson said every year they have deputies spying during commencement and will be more aware.
Although they are not on heightened alert, he said they are being cautious about it.
“We have a great working relationship with Public Safety,” Robinson said. “And we are keeping an eye out to see if this individual returns and making sure everyone follows the university rules with posting written material on campus.”
In the middle of last week a man was photographed by Public Safety’s security cameras with what appeared to be a firearm.
According to the university’s crime log a suspicious person was reported on campus at the Rice Library at 3:09 p.m. on April 18. The disposition remains open.
Strupp said the male was located in Rice Library and the security cameras show him with something on his side around the belt area.
“It’s difficult to tell and we can’t be certain,” she said. “It’s important to remind people that no firearms or weapons are allowed…and in light of commencement and national discussion, we want students and outside members to know we don’t allow firearms on this campus.”
Although photographs were taken of the individual, Strupp said Public Safety was not made aware until the person was gone, because they “cannot be everywhere at once.”
Strupp said that is why they use the cameras and want the campus to be on the lookout for anything suspicious.
She said the reason why the university didn’t go into a lockdown because there was “no imminent danger at that time other than violating school policy, which is still a problem, there was nothing to report at that time.”
Although they do not have an indication of the suspicious person with a gun or the inflammatory posters, they are doing a lot of information sharing and gathering.
Strupp said she wants the campus to be aware of their surroundings and if they suspect someone might have a gun to provide the information immediately to public safety, even if they are not sure.
“It’s really unfortunate,” she said.
The Shield spoke to Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Kindra Strupp, who said three neo-nazi posters were found in the Rice Plaza – the fountain area north of the university center – taped to the green outdoor tables.
She said the posters contained text and images that were racist with neo-nazi threatening language.
The university is currently working with USI Public Safety, the Vanderburgh County Sherriff’s Office, Evansville City Police and the Department of Homeland Security.
The instance was reported in the middle of last week and Strupp said it’s important for students, faculty and staff to make sure they have programmed Public Safety’s phone number into their phone (812-492-7777).
Strupp said due to commencement happening this weekend, it’s important for the campus community to “remain vigilant.”
The university is investigating inflammatory Neo-Nazi posters found on campus.
President Linda Bennett sent an email Tuesday afternoon informing the campus of a that “multiple law enforcement agencies” are investigating the posters along with a “suspicious person who may have been a carrying a gun.”
The email did not indicate when the incidents occurred.
The Shield is waiting for calls back from the Vanderburgh County Sherriff’s Department and University Communications.
We will update this story as information becomes available.