Public Safety calls campus lockdown


The Public Safety window in the Campus Center. Photo by Chloe Vasquez ‘24.

Estelle Timar-Wilcox, Editor-in-Chief

Content Warning: Please be advised that this article contains discussion of gun violence and self-harm. 

Early in the morning on Saturday, March 5, Macalester went on lockdown for about half an hour after Macalester community members reported that a man was injured on campus. According to Macalester Public Safety, the man was suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

Macalester community members came across the incident and reported it to Macalester Public Safety and the St. Paul Police Department (SPPD) at about 5:10 a.m., according to an email sent to the campus community from Public Safety Director Jim Kurtz later that morning. 

The injured man, who Kurtz says is not connected to the college, was transported to a hospital in stable condition. As of Tuesday, the man was alive, according to Kurtz. 

Public safety instituted the lockdown as a precaution as soon as they learned about the incident. Kurtz said that people who initially reported the incident did not note that the wound was self-inflicted — just that a man was found on the ground and had been shot. 

“At the time, we just didn’t know… all the details of it, other than [that] somebody had been shot and was on campus,” Kurtz said. 

The Macalester Department of Public Safety issues lockdowns when they believe there is an active threat on campus. The department lifted Saturday’s lockdown at about 6:20 a.m., when SPPD notified them that they believed the wound to be self-inflicted.

Kurtz heard from students that people followed the lockdown guidance. 

“We really appreciate the fact that they took the threat seriously and stayed inside until we had investigated further and determined what the extent of the threat was,” Kurtz said.

The lockdown was Public Safety’s first of the year. After the lockdown, the college responded with various support services for students and employees. The Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and the Laurie Hamre Center for Health and Wellness hosted in-person and virtual gatherings on Monday, March 7 for any community members looking for support following the event.

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