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A shooting near Indiana University campus during Little 500 weekend raises questions among students

Posted at 10:04 PM, Apr 25, 2022

BLOOMINGTON — A shooting this weekend during Little 500 weekend in Bloomington has led to questions from students and parents about the Indiana University Emergency Alert System.

According to the Protect IU website, there are certain situations that will warrant an alert.

Those include a confirmed dangerous situation or emergency that could be a threat to campus.

IUPD Bloomington Deputy Chief Shannon Bunger said the IU Bloomington Incident Management Team was activated after the off-campus shootings and determined there was no imminent or ongoing threat to campus.

Because of this, Bunger said an alert wasn't issued.

But a short time later when a suspicious vehicle at a residence center was spotted on campus and possibly connected to the shooting, an alert was issued after a short chase and the people in the car ran away, Bunger said.

The incident management team was activated again to monitor the situation and issue updated alerts as needed, Bunger said.

The people inside the car who ran away were later determined by Bloomington police to not be involved in the shooting, Bunger said.

"Going forward they should alert us of stuff that happens in the immediate vicinity of campus, as it could pose a risk to students on campus,” IU freshman Tom Foster said.

Foster said the nightclub where the shooting happened is frequented by students so it would have been good to know that a crime took place there.

Other students said it would have been nice to get notification about the shooting even if it wasn’t on campus because of it being Little 500 weekend.

"I did get an alert to stay away from the area," IU sophomore Cayley Dodson said. “I think it was a little bit after it happened when they were already chasing. It probably could have happened a little sooner."

Indiana University is required to notify students of crime on campus because of the Clery Act.

It is a federal law requiring all higher education institutions to disclose information about crime on campus.

For off-campus incidents, Bunger encouraged people to look to local media or trusted social media channels for up-to-date information. Monroe County also has an emergency alert system students can sign up for.

You can read the full statement from Bunger below.

Around 1:30 a.m., two separate shootings happened in downtown Bloomington (away from campus). The IU Bloomington Incident Management Team (IMT) was activated and determined there was not an imminent or ongoing threat to campus, so no alert was issued. Under the Federal Clery guidelines, Indiana University would issue alerts that would immediately effect IUPD’s Clery geography, and downtown Bloomington does not.

A short time later, a call to 911 said there was a suspicious vehicle at Briscoe residence center on campus and that it might be related to the downtown shootings. A description of the suspect vehicle had not yet been released by the Bloomington Police Department. IUPD responded and located the car at 2:37 a.m. The car then fled further into campus, crashed in the Hamilton Lugar School parking lot and the three occupants fled on foot. Because it was unknown at that time if the individuals were involved in the downtown shootings and because a gun was recovered near the car, an IU Notify alert was sent at 2:44 a.m. noting a dangerous situation near the Arborteum/10th St. and Eagleson due to the possible suspects being on campus.

The IMT was activated again and monitored the situation in real time, issuing additional update alerts as needed. IUPD caught two of the three subjects by about 4 a.m. At that point, we sent the final update noting that the investigation is ongoing and IUPD collapsed its perimeter after a thorough search of the area the suspects fled into. Four total IU Notify alerts went out via text, email and social during the incident on campus. It was later determined by the Bloomington Police Department that the individuals in this traffic stop were not involved in the downtown shootings.

WRTV Senior Digital Content Producer Andrew Smith contributed to this report.