Chancellor: No active threat at ASU after suspected gunman's arrest

Arkansas State University spokesman Bill Smith introduces Chancellor Tim Hudson (left) and Randy Martin, chief of university police (right), during a news conference Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. Officials spoke on a gunman who drove a truck onto the university's campus earlier in the day, brandishing a weapon. No injuries or gunshots were reported.


Chancellor Tim Hudson said during a 5 p.m. news conference that "there is no continuing danger" at Arkansas State University after a gunman drove a truck onto a lawn near the university's student union Thursday afternoon.

"The Arkansas State community remains strong and we're safe thanks in large part to the quick action and cooperation of our law enforcement officers and safety personnel," he said.

No one was injured and no shots were fired on campus, officials said.

The man identified by police as the gunman, 47-year-old Brad Bartelt, was a former student at Arkansas State University's campus in Newport, officials confirmed. On Twitter, the university added that Bartelt had not been a student at the campus since 2012.

During the news conference, Randy Martin, chief of university police, said Bartelt was "threatening himself" at the time police arrived on scene, adding that the gunman was holding a shotgun under his chin.

"Once the scene was contained, officers from the SWAT team were deployed up to the suspect and his vehicle... After a time of negotiations, the suspect threw down a shotgun and surrendered to officers," Martin said.

Bartelt was taken into custody about 2:46 p.m. Thursday, more than an hour after the initial call of a gunman on campus came in, according to police.

Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott said authorities found a 12-gauge shotgun, a can of gasoline and a propane tank in Bartelt's truck.

Officials declined to comment on an any possible motive or a threatening post on social media from a man with the same name as Bartelt.

Martin said an increased number of patrol officers will be present on campus for the remainder of the week.

Campus events scheduled for Thursday night have been canceled, including a holiday event at the chancellor's residence, another university tweet said.

Final exams scheduled for Thursday have rescheduled to Wednesday, and the campus will be "open for business as usual" Friday, Hudson said. Saturday's commencement ceremonies will also proceed as scheduled.

Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


A gunman at Arkansas State University was taken into custody without injury about 2:46 p.m. Thursday, more than an hour after he drove a truck onto a lawn near the school’s student union and brandished his weapon, police said.

Jonesboro Police Department spokesman Paul Holmes identified the man as 47-year-old Brad Bartelt and said he was taken into custody shortly after negotiators began attempting to approach and make contact with him.

No shots were reported to have been fired and no one was injured, authorities said.

The gunman's motive wasn't immediately known, though a Facebook page for a man with the same name as Bartelt mentioned a 2012 accident another ASU campus. The rambling posting, published on Wednesday, said that said the writer had told "multiple professionals and people in State of Arkansas I AM SUICIDAL and now HOMICIDAL."

There was no immediate confirmation the posting was written by the same person suspected in the ASU situation.

The entire campus had been on lockdown after ASU sent a text alert around 1:30 p.m. warning of an "active shooter" situation. By 3:30 p.m., only the east side of the Carl R. Reng Student Union was still locked down, though the library was closed until Friday.

The school said the gunman was surrounded in his truck on the lawn by police from ASU and other law-enforcement agencies shortly after the alert went out.

While police were speaking with the gunman, witnesses began posting photos of the encounter to social media. In the photos, a man can be seen standing behind the door of truck with what appeared to be a long gun pointed to the sky.

A large American flag was attached to a pole in the bed of the truck and a yellow flag was draped over the cab and windshield.

Holmes said police were searching the vehicle, which he said appeared to have propane tanks at its rear.

"Our guys are going to make sure the truck is safe before it's moved," Holmes said.

John Miller, a junior at ASU, said by phone he was taking a test in the humanities building when he saw through a window a green pickup drive onto the lawn in front of the union.

"A guy ran out, I couldn't see what he had," Miller said.

About five minute later, after finishing his test, "people came running and screaming freaking out," Miller said.

At that point, Miller ran with several women to the library as police and SWAT team officers began descending on the campus, he said.

Student Government President Logan Mustain said his organization asked campus police to advise students how to handle active-shooter incidents following similar situations that have occurred in the past year elsewhere.

Freshman are required to attend a seminar about active shooter situations as part of their first-year requirements, he said

"I feel like we are very well prepared and we haven't heard of any injuries," Mustain said.


Police investigate at Arkansas State University after an armed man drove a truck onto a lawn near the student union Thursday afternoon.


A truck believed to have been driven by an armed man on the Arkansas State campus is shown in this photo provided by Twitter user @TheBadMammaJama.