UW-Oshkosh Police Chief Addresses Campus Armed Robbery Response
UW-Oshkosh police are working with a bevy of law enforcement agencies around the state to find two men who robbed an ATM company courier at gunpoint on the university campus Wednesday morning.
exchange at an ATM in Reeve Memorial Union when the two masked men approached
him outside of the building. UW-Oshkosh Police Chief Kurt Leibold tells us they
weren’t able to get away with much.
attempted to rob him, however he didn’t have any money, so they took his weapon
and fled the scene. There was a vehicle with a getaway driver waiting for them
a few blocks off campus, and then they fled the campus area.”
Students received multiple “Titan Alert” notices throughout the course of the morning, one of them telling them to simply “be aware of your surroundings.” One student tells us that her alert came in at 8:58am, just minutes before classes got out. Another student tells us she was asked to stay out of Reeve Union due to the incident, telling us that people seemed confused about what was happening. After the incident, many students, parents, and other took
to social media to express their anger with the school for not immediately
locking down the campus. But Kurt Leibold claims they
quickly figured out what had happened once officers arrived on scene.
He also explains that “logistically it’s impossible to lock down every building on this campus, so that term wouldn’t be the term I would’ve used if I had deemed that it was dangerous to the campus. We knew immediately when we got there that this was a targeted event, and talking to witnesses and looking at surveillance, we knew immediately that these suspects had fled campus and were no longer a threat. So we verified that information and got it out to campus as soon as possible that there was no more threat. That’s why I didn’t advise students to shelter in place at that time.”
When we asked him if students and staff were ever in any danger, Leibold said any threats were long gone, even by the time officers converged on the area.
Leibold points out that “when the
event is actually happening, you don’t know what could happen at that point. So
certainly there may have been danger, but that was before we were involved in
the situation and sent out an alert to campus.”
The Fox Valley Technical College Riverside Campus building
just across the river from UW-Oshkosh was locked down immediately following
notification of the incident. Students also claim that Dempsey Hall, the UW-Oshkosh administrative building, was also placed on some kind of lockdown.
One suspect is described as a thin, short black man in his 20’s wearing dark jeans and a dark hoodie with Adidas shoes that had a red symbol and red bottoms. The other was a white man in his 20’s wearing a black sweatshirt and brown ski mask. Both men were armed – and three firearms were involved, including the handgun taken from the courier.
Leibold asks anyone who may have seen the men or
their tan-colored, four-door car fleeing through the area to contact the
UW-Oshkosh Police Department at 920-424-1212.