By Melissa Proulx, Staff Writer
One arrest has been made relating to the incident in the Gables complexes Monday morning after a group of four males were reportedly wielding a firearm.
James Blackwell, a 27-year-old resident of South Portland, Maine, was arrested and charged with resisting arrest after refusing to stop when the police told him to, according to Erika Mantz, director of UNH’s media relations.
Blackwell’s bail was set at $1,500 personal recognizance and has a court date scheduled for Feb. 12, 2015.
It is not known if Blackwell, who Mantz confirmed is not a student at UNH, was in possession of the firearm that sparked the early morning incident. The identities of the three other males who were involved are not known but are reported to not be students of the university either.
“The young men were there visiting,” Mantz said in an email.
The entire incident began at 4 a.m., when the UNH Police Department issued a Shelter in Place warning after the group of four males was seen with a handgun.
“There was no fight or threat made,” Mantz said in an issued statement for the university.
A Shelter in Place Warning is used to ensure the safety of both the officers and general public by clearing the area of anyone who is not directly involved with the incident. Because of this, witnesses to the event were scarce and hard to come by.
“[The Shelter in Place Warning] is not unique to UNH,” Mantz said. “Police report that everyone they interacted with during this morning’s incident was cooperative, and the order was lifted as soon as officers were confident there was no threat to the community.”
The order was lifted at about 5:30 a.m. that morning. Lee, Durham, Dover, Newmarket, Barrington and state police responded to assist with the search for the suspects. UNH Police had jurisdiction of the case and is the only department handling the investigation.
At the height of the event, there were 13 police units at the scene, including one police dog.
Paul Dean, UNH chief of police and executive director of safety, was not on campus or in the state when the incident occurred, and though he was not able to answer specific questions about the event, said that individuals on campus must have his approval in order to have a firearm on campus.
The Room and Board Agreement section of the Student Rights, Rules and Responsibilities explicitly states that firearms are prohibited from the dorms on campus, and that UNH is a weapon-free campus.
The investigation is still on-going and updates will be made as new information as it comes in.
Anyone with any information about the event is encouraged to contact the UNH Police Department at (603) 862-1427.
Melissa Proulx can be reached on Twitter @_mcproulx. Cam Johnson contributed to this report.