By Anna Toth
Cleveland State University was put under shelter last Saturday, Feb. 10 at 10:37 p.m. The shelter in place lasted just over an hour, during which students were told to stay in place on campus and avoid the Science Research (SR) building.
Around 10 police patrol vehicles were seen surrounding Julka Hall and a K-9 unit was brought in to search the area surrounding the SR building. The original alert sent out to Cleveland State students and faculty read:
“CSU EMERGENCY ALERT SHELTER IN PLACE until further notice. CSU Officials following up on off-campus unrelated incident encouraging all to avoid Science Research.”
A follow-up alert sent at 11:21 p.m. clarified that the unrelated incident occurred in South Euclid. Students across the street in Euclid Commons and by Julka Hall in Fenn Tower were told to turn off lights and avoid the windows.
At 11:46 p.m., the shelter in place was lifted with a message stating that officials had been working with South Euclid on an “active incident” but the campus was deemed safe. No further information was given out until university police sent out an update on Monday morning.
The email explained that a shelter in place is different from a lockdown, where students are recommended to stay in one place and not go outside.
The email continued by stating that an armed suspect was thought to be on Cleveland State’s campus. There were no sightings of the suspect but Cleveland Division of Police, South Euclid and Cleveland State police swept the campus regardless.
When it was confirmed that the suspect was not on campus, the shelter in place was lifted and the email went on to explain that the suspect was apprehended later that night in Cleveland Heights. It also stated that the South Euclid Police Department was the lead law enforcement agency in charge of the incident.
While Cleveland State police couldn’t supply further information as to what exactly happened on campus, South Euclid Chief of Police Kevin Nietert explained the events of the night.
According to Nietert and a news release by South Euclid Police, 21-year-old suspect Danielle Echols fired multiple rounds at her house at 7:26 p.m. that night. At the time, the house was occupied by Echols’ mother and siblings.
After the shots were fired, Echols’ fled the scene with the gun. Echols was not licensed to carry a firearm. Nietert believes that the dispute between Echols’ and her mother was regarding the Valentine’s Love Jam concert at the Wolstein Center that night.
It’s also what led South Euclid police to believe that Echols was in the Cleveland State campus area. As Echols was armed, Cleveland State police and Cleveland police were notified aptly.
“No sighting of her was spotted but it was believed she was in the area and parked near the campus,” Neitert said.
The gun was later confirmed to be found in Echols’ car.
They were unable to locate Echols’ car on campus but later tracked her to Coventry Road where she was arrested.
Echols was charged with felonious assault and domestic violence, but the news release by South Euclid police department states that additional charges are expected.