Report of shots fired proves false

Black Hills State University’s Spearfish campus was briefly on shelter in place status Friday due to a potential active shooter situation, after there were reports of shots fired near the campus apartments.

The BHSU Campus Alert system sent out both an email and a text at 2:29 p.m. warning of shots fired near Apartment H at the Yellow Jacket Apartments. Students, staff and faculty on campus were advised to shelter in place and lock their doors.

Wyatt Bills, a resident of Apartment Building A, said that his roommate was the first in their household to read the text. After that, “we immediately shut the blinds and barricaded the doors,” Bills said.

The shelter in place order was lifted less than half an hour later, with the “all clear” coming after no evidence of gunshots was found.

After receiving reports of popping noises, “officers assisted Public Safety in locating the source,” said Spearfish Chief of Police Curtis Jacobs.

A search of the building and the surrounding area where the shots were reported was conducted, but the alert sent to students indicated that there was no evidence of gunshots.

At this time, “we believe it was a mechanical issue,” Jacobs said.

Philip Pesheck, head of Public Safety, could not be reached for comment on the situation.

For those on campus, the 30 minutes between the first report and the all clear were full of uncertainty.

“It was scary,” Bills said of the shelter in place, “but we knew we were relatively safe so we called the non-emergency line for more information and waited for the all clear.”