The University Police Department issued an email and automated phone message Emergency Alert Update March 28 stating, “A felony assault occurred today off-campus. It is possible that one or both of the suspects involved may be coming to the UAA campus. The suspects were last seen in a dark blue or purple colored jeep … both suspects were armed with handguns.”
It also stated that a car model and license plate number were not known.
They then issued an update soon after saying there is no immediate threat for students on campus.
According to UPD Chief Rick Shell, some people on campus perceived the first alert as an immediate threat. He said it caused mass confusion and near panic on campus.
The second alert was issued to assure students there was no immediate threat on campus. Shell also said the first message was issued to comply with federal Clery laws, a federal ruling that colleges and universities must disclose crime activity in and nearby campus.
Shell said police officers locked UAA on-campus student Omar Luis Ducasse Jr. out of his room and interviewed several of his neighbors. As of Friday, no one reported Ducasse has or will come back to campus.
Residence Hall Association representative and residential adviser Laura Nebeck said all resident assistants are trained during fall and spring semesters for situations such as this. A keycard is necessary to get into residential buildings. Beyond that, a numerical keypad locks every individual room.
Both alleged felons, Omar Luis Ducasse Jr. and Benjamin Zeckovic, are still at large as of Monday
UPD has asked anyone with any information to call University Police at 907-786-1120.