An armed man drove onto the lawn of the Arkansas State University campus on Thursday in his truck with a Gadsden Flag and an American flag flying off the back. A campus lockdown ensued before police took him into custody without any shots fired, according to a university spokesman.
University spokesman Bill Smith said the man was taken into custody about an hour after the incident began, however, the campus had to remain on lockdown while police inspected the man’s truck.
The school had to send an alert early urging the evacuation of the student union following a report of an active shooter, according to the Associated Press.
A negotiator was sent to the scene to talk to the armed man, Jonesboro police spokesman Paul Holmes said.
The man was identified the man as 47-year-old Brad Bartelt.
The Arkansas Gazette reports:
The gunman’s motive wasn’t immediately known, though a Facebook page for a man with the same name as Bartelt mentioned a 2012 accident another ASU campus. The rambling posting, published on Wednesday, said that said the writer had told “multiple professionals and people in State of Arkansas I AM SUICIDAL and now HOMICIDAL.”
However, it’s not confirmed yet whether that post was authored by the same man who was taken into custody.
The armed man gunman was surrounded in his truck on the lawn by university police and other law-enforcement agencies shortly after the alert went out.
Witnesses began posting photos of the encounter to social media while authorities spake to the gunman.
The Gazette reports that a man can be seen in the photos standing behind the door of truck with what appeared to be a long gun pointed to the sky.
A large American flag was attached to a pole in the bed of the truck and what appears to be a Gadsden flag was draped over the cab and windshield.
Police found what appeared to be two propane tanks at the rear of the man’s truck.
“Our guys are going to make sure the truck is safe before it’s moved,” Holmes said.
“A guy ran out, I couldn’t see what he had,” said John Miller, a student at the university.
He recalled to the Gazette that it was around five minute later that “people came running and screaming freaking out.”
The gunman is not a Syrian refugee and does not appear to be a Muslim so this incident will surely be forgotten by tomorrow.
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