Police: Suspects in UMass Armed Assault Were Let into Dorm

Reports of a weapon on campus led police to order a shelter in place for two hours.

University of Massachusetts Amherst police have confirmed that the two people believed to be responsible for the Feb. 18 assault of a student were signed into the dorm where the crime was committed.

The revelations may offer some relief to school officials, who have invested roughly $1.5 million in dorm security since a campus security review in 2013.

Last week’s assault, which police are still investigating, occurred just after 5 p.m. in Pierpont Hall on campus. Two males who police say were not students attacked a freshman in one of the dorm’s hallways. Police believe the suspects knew the victim. A firearm was shown during the assault but not fired.

RELATED: UMass Spends $1.45M on School Security Upgrades

Reports of a firearm on campus prompted police to order a shelter in place, which lasted for approximately two hours.

Police have since named one suspect, 19-year-old William P. McKeown, of Framingham. Charges could include armed robbery, assault and battery, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, according to masslive.com.

Although it is unclear how quickly police responded to reports of someone with a gun, the university’s interim Police Chief Patrick Archbald said active shooter training has shown police can get anywhere on campus within two and a half minutes.

The school’s dorm entrances are always locked so students can only get in by scanning an ID card. The access control system is connected to a server that handles visitor management and identification so people recently banned cannot enter.

The main lobbies of dorms are also staffed by monitors everyday after 8 p.m. There are no metal detectors on campus.

The university and Amherst police departments continue to investigate the incident.

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