WWU: Man cited for having concealed handgun on campus

Western Washington University’s campus.
Western Washington University’s campus. The Bellingham Herald

A visitor in a Western Washington University classroom was cited for having a concealed handgun Friday afternoon, Feb. 12.

A student in a class in Parks Hall 146 noticed a man had a gun in his waistband around 12:35 p.m., according to a campus alert sent out about an hour later.

The student left the room to call University Police.

Class was adjourned as officers showed up and detained the man with the help of the faculty member, according to the campus alert.

The man, 30, is a friend of a student in the class but not a student himself, according to the university. He handed over the gun to police before he was escorted off the grounds. Officers cited him, under state law, for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit on his person. Police warned him if he returned to campus he would be trespassing.

The gun — a loaded .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, with no round in the chamber — was returned to him once he was off campus, said Paul Cocke, a university spokesman.

Police do not believe the man intended to harm anyone, and he was cooperative with officers.

His name hasn’t been released. He’s a resident of Shelton, Cocke said.

The man has a concealed weapons permit. State law requires anyone carrying a concealed gun to have the permit “in his or her immediate possession at all times.”

Guns are not allowed on Western’s campus, except in the case of police. University police have a gun locker for students who own firearms, e.g., hunters, Cocke said.

There have been 165 school shootings since 2013, according to data compiled by the nonpartisan group Everytown For Gun Safety. Two girls were shot and killed at a high school in Glendale, Ariz., on Friday morning.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb