Firecrackers prompt ESF alert of possible gunshots
Two students lit firecrackers and threw them from the window of a Sadler Hall room this morning, prompting the police department of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry to issue a possible gunshot e-mail alert.
The police department of ESF issued the alert at 10:37 a.m. It said there were possible shots fired on the south side of Sadler Hall’s the seventh floor.
ESF notified Syracuse University’s Department of Public Safety at 10:08 a.m. of gunshots reportedly heard near Sadler and Lawrinson Halls, according to an e-mail sent from DPS at 11:36 a.m about the firecrackers.
DPS and the Syracuse Police Department determined the origin of the noise was firecrackers thrown from a Sadler Hall window. No Orange Alert was issued to the SU community.
Students on the eighth floor of Sadler Hall said SPD officers escorted two ESF freshmen in handcuffs from the building around 12:15 p.m.
No one was arrested in the incident, said Lt. Joe Cecile of SPD. The students were released to DPS.
Meagan Pepper, a freshman environmental studies major, said she had been in the seventh floor lounge since 9:15 a.m., and did not hear any loud noises like that of a gunshot. She said she stayed in the lounge for another hour before an SPD officer asked her to leave the floor.
Students on the seventh and eighth floors said they were not asked to evacuate.
‘The police wouldn’t say what’s going on,’ Pepper said. She received an 11 a.m. text message that the incident was a false alarm, not a shooting.
‘All clear. Resume normal activities. False report of shots fired. Investigation determined cause of concern was fireworks,’ the message read.
Michael Cook, a freshman biotechnology major, said he signed up for text message alerts but never received one.
‘I got back to Sadler around 10:15 a.m. and noticed there were several DPS cars outside between Lawrence and Sadler,’ Cook said. ‘By 10:30 a.m., there were numerous Syracuse Police cars outside as well as crime scene investigation vans.’
Scott Becksted, supervisor of police operations for ESF, and Tony Callisto, chief of SU’s DPS, did not return calls for comment.
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