Keystone College campus lockdown lifted, threat under investigation

By Elizabeth Baumeister - | October 19th, 2015 4:52 pm - updated: 4:52 pm.

LA PLUME — Hundreds of Keystone College students locked themselves indoors for approximately an hour-and-a-half Monday afternoon while law enforcement officers from at least six agencies, including the FBI, swept the campus in response to reports of a gunman.

Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Connie Devens said while no active threat was found and no arrests were made, the state police are still investigating the case.

Officers and detectives from the FBI, Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Dunmore and Tunkhannock, Dalton Borough and South Abington Township police departments and the Wyoming County Detectives responded to the threat.

“All we received was information, mainly through social media, that there was a credible threat,” said Fran Calpin, Senior Director of College Relations. “We went into lock-down at 12:58, everybody responded extremely, extremely well, very promptly, and our emergency preparations worked very well. We acted out of an abundance of caution, and fortunately, that’s all that took place. To the best of my knowledge, there was no person on campus with a weapon.”

The lock-down was lifted at approximately 2:27 p.m. and classes resumed. A police presence was set to remain on campus for at least the remainder of the evening.

According to Calpin, the college conducted lock-down drills in the past, but this was the first time for an official lock-down.

Kyle Steiner, a junior, and Caitlin Cartwright, a senior, were in their physics class with between 20 and 30 other students, when everyone received text and email notifications referencing a “campus hazard.”

“Shelter in place, lock windows and doors, and await further communication,” the message read. “This is not a drill.”

“We were told to lock the door, shut the lights off and go in the corner,” Cartwright said. “We didn’t know what was going on.”

“We didn’t really know how to react,” Steiner added.

Both students said they felt the college handled the situation well and they felt safe once the lock-down lifted.

Another student, Karlie Jaeger, a senior, said she was in the campus library at the time. The hardest part for her was not knowing what was going on and wishing the college would give more information. After it was over, however, she felt the situation was handled well and was glad to be safe.

“We have a good policy here, where they notify us,” she said.

Anyone with information regarding the threat is asked to contact the Pennsylvania State Police in Dunmore at 570-963-3156.

Police officers head to their vehicles and exit Keystone College after an emergency campus lockdown was lifted Monday afternoon. officers head to their vehicles and exit Keystone College after an emergency campus lockdown was lifted Monday afternoon.

By Elizabeth Baumeister

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal