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UNH Lockdown

westhavenayanaThe University of New Haven in West Haven was locked down on Tuesday afternoon after reports of a man on campus with what appeared to be a rifle. William Dong, a 22-year-old commuter student, was arrested in connection with the scare.

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A sense of appreciation and happiness is overflowing at the University of New Haven campus.

The university created a “Good Samaritan Fund” for a homeless woman who saw something and said something on December 3. That is when police found 22-year-old UNH student William Dong carrying two loaded handguns on campus and he had a loaded assault rifle in his car. The woman had the initiative to call police and the university wants to say thank you in return.

“We have raised $7,250 and we only put this out at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning,” said UNH VP of Human Resources, Caroline Vitale-Koziatek.

“She is a very understated grateful person and she doesn’t really want much. She just wants to be anonymous, wants her privacy and is open to some help.”

Vitale-Koziatek said the woman only recently became homeless. She is aware of the fund but is not aware of how much money has been raised.

“I donated money to the woman who alerted the authorities,” said Kevin LaRoche, a student and IT worker at the University.

The more than $7,000 was raised by 155 donors. They said she did the right thing by calling police and they want to do the right thing in return.

“I thought it was amazing that a woman who was homeless is the one that kind of triggered this all into happening in the first place,” said student and IT worker Cameron Tuttle.

If you want to donate you can make your donations payable to  “UNH – Good Samaritan Fund” — to the attention of the VP for Finance, University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven, CT 06516, or you can click on this link to provide any level of help that you feel is appropriate: http://www.newhaven.edu/goodsamaritan/make-a-donation.

Dong is behind bars on a $500 bond.

He faces four charges, two of which are felonies.

 

Local News
12/03/13

Fairfield Home Of UNH Lockdown Suspect Searched

Another instance of chaos on campus in Connecticut Tuesday, this time in West Haven, where a University of New Haven students with three guns was arrested.

The man was identified Tuesday afternoon as 22-year-old University of New Haven student, William Dong.

Fairfield Police began searching the suspect’s home after West Haven Police matched his car registration to the house on Stratfield Avenue.

It was just after 1pm when West Haven police sped to the University of New Haven campus after someone reported seeing a man with a rifle in the Shop Rite parking lot and dialed 911 alerting police.

“A lot of cops responding very quickly,” said witness Jessica Donahue, describing the scene.

The University of New Haven and nearby school Notre Dame, were both put on alert, while police tracked the suspect, who was later identified as a commuter student.

“A very courteous officer came in the room and told us to shelter in place and to wait for further notification”, said Professor Joseph Wilson, interviewed at the scene.

With SWAT team and K9 units on hand, police used a description to find Dong and arrested him on campus without a struggle.

They found two pistols in his waistband and later located a rifle and ammunition inside his Blue Toyota SUV parked nearby.

“No shots were fired. No injuries to officers, students, staff,” said West Haven Police Sgt. David Tammaro.

While West Haven Police worked on clearing the campus, Fairfield Police were searching Dong’s Fairfield home.

“We did an initial run through the house. The mom is home. So we did have her consent to go through the house initially,” explained Chief Gary McNamara of the Fairfield Police Department.

They did find pellet guns during the first sweep, but West Haven Police arrived later with a search warrant.

“We really are here to find out whether he has any more handguns or weapons and really to answer the why and what his intent was,” McNamara said.

That was something many wanted to know Tuesday night, be it on campus in West Haven or in Dong’s Fairfield neighborhood.

“Let’s make sure we find out what is this guy all about that is carrying guns on campus and stuff,” said neighbor Russell Stewart.

Another neighbor, Thomas Wething, says he graduated with Dong from Fairfield High School in 2009, sharing homeroom and says he’s not sure why his former classmate would bring guns on a college campus.

“He was a good guy in high school. I wouldn’t want to put anything against him, but he just always quiet and kept to himself.”

Fairfield police left Dong’s house at approximately 10:30pm Tuesday with a bag of evidence.

They have yet to release their findings and West Haven Police have yet to announce any charges.

WEST HAVEN — The University of New Haven was placed under lockdown on Tuesday after someone reported seeing a gunman on campus; the third such lockdown of a college campus in Connecticut in the past month.

Unlike the previous two lockdowns, however, a man was arrested on the UNH campus carrying two loaded handguns, and police found a rifle and ammunition magazines in his vehicle.

The man was identified by West Haven police as William Dong, 22, of 1336 Stratfield Road inFairfield. Dong is a UNH commuter student, police said.

The campus was put on lockdown at 12:45 p.m. after a customer at a Shop Rite in the nearbyNew Haven Plaza on Campbell Street called police and said they’d seen a man with a rifle get out of a car and begin walking toward the university campus.

Dong was taken into custody a short time later a few blocks from there on the UNH campus, police said. Dong was in possession of two loaded handguns, but did not threaten the officers or resist arrest, police said.

Police located a rifle and ammunition magazines for a rifle in the car Dong parked in the Shop Rite parking lot: a blue Toyota Rav 4. The car was later towed from the lot by police.

Dong was issued a pistol permit by Fairfield police in April 2013 and has two legally registered weapons, said Sgt. Suzanne Lussier.

“Obviously that doesn’t extend to long guns or a shotgun,” she said. Permits are not required for long guns.

Dong remains in custody but criminal charges have not yet been determined, police said. He is a registered student at the university but does not live on campus.

“Detectives are going through his background with a fine-toothed comb,” said Sgt. David Tammaro of the West Haven police.

Meanwhile, Fairfield police were searching Dong’s parents’ residence on Stratfield Road for any other weapons, Lussier said.

A “shelter in place” order remained in effect after the suspect was taken into custody. A “methodical search is taking place,” the school reported on Twitter.

The shelter-in-place order was lifted for the North Campus and the South Campus around 3:30 p.m. and for all areas around 5:15 p.m. Evening classes have been cancelled, the school reported.

“The threat is contained,” said Tammaro.

“We don’t know why he was carrying those weapons,” Tammaro said.

The school initially announced the emergency on its Facebook page:

“West Haven Police Department has reported an Asian male near South Campus with what appears to be a rifle,” the announcement states. “Shelter in place and await further instruction.”

Part of Campbell Avenue was shut down, and police were stopping cars in the area. Officers from area departments, some with bomb-sniffing dogs, arrived in the area. Police were conducting a building to building search on campus.

State police and the FBI were helping with the search.

Carrigan School at 2 Tetlow St. and Forest School at 95 Burwell Road, both in West Haven, were put in “stay in place” mode, a school official said. That order was later lifted.

Brooke Martins, an 18-year-old UNH student from Andover, was in her room in the Bixler Hall dormitory when she got an alert at 12:45 p.m., she said.

“We were told to stay locked down, make sure doors were locked, stay away from windows,” she said. “At first we all freaked out, but we know it’s safe here.”

Martins said she and her roommates could see police searching the area with dogs.

Joseph Wilson, a lecturer in history and global studies, said that he was just beginning an anthropology lecture when the class received the notice to shelter in place.

Wilson said at first there was tension, but that dissipated as it became apparent that there was no more threat. He said he saw no evidence of panic on the campus.

“There are lots of criminal justice students on campus so there were cool heads,” Wilson said.

From the Hartford Courant.

WEST HAVEN — A man with two loaded handguns was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon on the University of New Haven campus.

The man was identified by West Haven police as William Dong, 22, of 1336 Stratfield Road in Fairfield.

The campus was put on lockdown at 12:45 p.m. after a customer at a Shop Rite in the nearbyNew Haven Plaza on Campbell Street called police and said they’d seen a man getting a rifle out of a car.

For more pictures, head to Courant.com 

Dong was taken into custody a short time later a few blocks from there, police said. Police later located the rifle, but did not specify where the firearm was found. Police said they found ammunition magazines for a rifle in the man’s car, a blue Toyota Rav 4 that was later towed from the Shop Rite parking lot by police.

The man was issued a pistol permit by Fairfield police in April 2013 and has two legally registered weapons, said Sgt. Suzanne Lussier.

“Obviously that doesn’t extend to long guns or a shotgun,” she said. Permits are not required for long guns.

The man remains in custody, but criminal charges have not yet been determined, police said. He is a registered student at the university but does not live on campus.

“Detectives are going through his background with a fine-toothed comb,” said Sgt. David Tammaro of the West Haven police.

Meanwhile, Fairfield police were searching a residence on Stratfield Road for any other weapons, Lussier said.

A “shelter in place” order remained in effect after the suspect was taken into custody. A “methodical search is taking place,” the school reported on Twitter.

The shelter-in-place order was lifted for the North Campus and the South Campus around 3:30 p.m. and for all areas around 5:15 p.m. Evening classes have been cancelled, the school reported.

“The threat is contained,” said Tammaro.

“We don’t know why he was carrying those weapons,” Tammaro said.

The school initially announced the emergency on its Facebook page:

“West Haven Police Department has reported an Asian male near South Campus with what appears to be a rifle,” the announcement states. “Shelter in place and await further instruction.”

Part of Campbell Avenue was shut down, and police were stopping cars in the area. Officers from area departments, some with bomb-sniffing dogs, arrived in the area. Police were conducting a building to building search on campus.

State police and the FBI were helping with the search.

Carrigan School at 2 Tetlow St. and Forest School at 95 Burwell Road, both in West Haven, were put in “stay in place” mode, a school official said. That order was later lifted.

Brooke Martins, an 18-year-old UNH student from Andover, was in her room in the Bixler Hall dormitory when she got an alert at 12:45 p.m., she said.

“We were told to stay locked down, make sure doors were locked, stay away from windows,” she said. “At first we all freaked out, but we know it’s safe here.”

Martins said she and her roommates could see police searching the area with dogs.

Joseph Wilson, a lecturer in history and global studies, said that he was just beginning an anthropology lecture when the class received the notice to shelter in place.

Wilson said at first there was tension, but that dissipated as it became apparent that there was no more threat. He said he saw no evidence of panic on the campus.

“There are lots of criminal justice students on campus so there were cool heads,” Wilson said.

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