Reporter finds bullet

Bullet+found+on+sidewalk+between+Ullsvik+Hall+and+Karmann+Library.

Betsy Heidt

Bullet found on sidewalk between Ullsvik Hall and Karmann Library.

I got to WSUP around noon to prepare for my on air jock shift that started at 12:30 p.m. Part way through my shift, I went on Yik Yak to see if DailyCowJokes had posted any jokes that I could read on air. However, there were posts about students leaving Ullsvik Hall thinking that it was a fire drill. Soon after, students were posting saying that the police were entering the building.

At first I didn’t know what to do because I and the other members that were at the station, had not received any formal training for this type of situation. At this point I was trying to get more reliable information that I could talk about on-air and trying to figure out what my responsibility should be. I decided to treat it like a tornado warning and announce what was going on every five to ten minutes. Shortly after that, I got my first text message from the campus alerts at 1:24 p.m. saying that there was a reported firearm in the building. Since that was the only source that seemed legitimate, it was the only thing that I read live on-air about the situation because I didn’t want to say anything that was inaccurate.

With all the violence and shootings going on in the world, it’s always scary to think that this could happen in Platteville. Now that something almost happened, it makes me think more actively about what I would do if someone came to the building, or even the same room as me. ”

— Betsy Heidt

At 1:36 p.m. I received another rave alert saying that campus was closed due to the security-threat. The station members and I proceeded to shut the door and shut off the lights to make it look like we were gone.  Since I didn’t know what was going on, I felt that it would be safest for me to stay at the station instead of walking by Ullsvik to go home. Around 2 p.m. the dean of BILSA, Wayne Weber, came to the station and told us we had to leave. I stayed behind to rework our programming so that we would remain on-air for the rest of the day and avoid having dead air. I finished up at the station and started to walk home. It was kind of eerie because I didn’t see anyone else on campus, not even any police officers. With all the violence and shootings going on in the world, it’s always scary to think that this could happen in Platteville. Now that something almost happened, it makes me think more actively about what I would do if someone came to the building, or even the same room as me.

Once I got home, I shared a post on WSUP’s Facebook page about why I left. After responding to messages on Facebook and making a few phone calls, I grabbed my camera and tried going back to campus. I was unable to get near Ullsvik because roads were blocked off and no one was allowed to get by. I was walking from blockade to blockade taking pictures and after 15 or so minutes, they removed the road blocks. I walked over to a house where there was a group of students and asked them a few questions about what was going on and they directed me to the student who pulled the fire alarm. I briefly talked to him and asked him to stop by WSUP for an interview the next day.

I then walked over to the group of officers that were by the building and asked if they had anything new that they could tell me. All they said was that there was a press conference going on at the Pioneer Haus in the Markee Pioneer Student Center, so I headed over there.

Since the campus was closed, the doors were locked and I couldn’t get in. I tried going back to where the witness was to give him my contact info, but he was gone. I ended up talking to a reporter from NBC 15 and she gave me a number to call to get a hold of someone in the MPSC. I walked back there as I was calling the number but no one answered. I left a message and started to go back home.

I was walking the path between the Karmann Library and Ullsvik when I saw a bullet on the sidewalk. I felt a brief adrenaline rush mixed with fear when I first saw it. I couldn’t believe that no one else had found it. I knew that students were ordered to leave campus, so there was no way that we were in any sort of danger. After calming down, I called the campus police, but was transferred to a police officer on duty. I told them where I was and what I found and they said that they would come to me soon. A few minutes later, the police officer came, collected the bullet and left. After that, I went home and called it a day.

Even after everything that’s happened, I still feel safe on campus. Partly because of the enhanced police presence on campus and also because I feel like the campus is a community. There are good people among us and if something bad is happening people will go out of their way to help others. We’ve got each other’s backs.

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