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+ Campus notification: No Threat on Campus

There was no gunman on campus.

Statement from Arkansas State University:

Numerous first responders from the University Police Department, Jonesboro Police Department, Craighead County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas State Police and other law enforcement agencies worked swiftly and cooperatively this afternoon in response to what eventually turned out to be a false alarm on the campus.

Apparently students were filming a video project near the Union, and costumed actors were reported by other students to 911 as possible campus intruders. These students have been located and interviewed by University Police Officers. As a result, it has been confirmed that there was no gunman on campus.

The university immediately put a lockdown in place while the Union and surrounding areas were searched and cleared. The university’s text and email alert system was used to notify students about the situation.

Chancellor Tim Hudson, Vice Chancellor Rick Stripling, and other representatives of the university administration also responded to campus to assist in the crisis response. The university response plan worked perfectly as designed.

No injuries were reported, and normal campus operations have resumed.

The University Police Department will continue to closely monitor the campus this evening as a precautionary measure.

Chancellor Hudson expressed the university’s appreciation to all law enforcement personnel who responded so quickly to the perceived threat.

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Russell H. Dowden, Jr.


Silver Star

Born in Bauxite, Arkansas on 13 January, 1943, Colonel Dowden was a Distinguished Military Graduate from Arkansas State in 1962 with a BS in Accounting and a commission in the Field Artillery. He has served in positions of command and staff throughout the Army and around the world, to include small unit command in the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam, command of the 7th Finance Group in Saudi Arabia during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and Commandant of the U.S. Army Finance School. His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart, and our nation's third highest award for valor in combat: the Silver Star.

On 14 February 1966 Second Lieutenant Dowden was serving as leader of a forward observer party when his company received intense hostile fire from a well-fortified Viet Cong force. Dauntlessly, Lieutenant Dowden exposed himself to the intense hostile fire to effectively direct the return fire of his men and counterattack the insurgents. During the course of the mission a claymore mine was detonated which severely wounded his company commander. Although painfully wounded himself, Lieutenant Dowden went to the aid of his commander, and attempted to shield him from intense sniper fire. While rendering first aid, a second claymore mine was detonated, severely injuring Lieutenant Dowden.