Crime

Man with gun reported at Western Washington University event

People gather around lowrider cars at Ridin’ Low in the 360 on May 20, 2012, in Red Square at Western Washington University. A person reported seeing a man with a handgun at the annual event on Sunday, May 15, 2016. No one was hurt.
People gather around lowrider cars at Ridin’ Low in the 360 on May 20, 2012, in Red Square at Western Washington University. A person reported seeing a man with a handgun at the annual event on Sunday, May 15, 2016. No one was hurt. The Bellingham Herald

A man reportedly pulled up his shirt to reveal a gun in his waistband on the Western Washington University campus Sunday, May 15, university officials said.

The university first reported the sighting just after 4 p.m. on Sunday via its Western Alert system. A person attending a low-rider car show at the university’s Red Square told police two groups had been arguing in the area when a man in one of the groups lifted his shirt to show a handgun tucked in his waistband.

Guns are not allowed on campus, except in designated storage lockers, said university spokesman Paul Cocke.

The man was last seen walking south from Red Square. WWU police searched the campus and surrounding area for about 90 minutes following the report and found no sign of the man, Cocke said.

Anyone with information on the incident is encouraged to call 911.

The witness who reported the incident was not a student, Cocke said, adding the person called police about 30 minutes after seeing the gun.

Police were not sure whether the man was a student. Although the man was seen in Red Square during the low-rider event, Cocke said, there was no indication whether he was attending the event.

Ridin’ Low in the 360 was part of Back2Bellingham 2016, the university’s four-day homecoming celebration. The show was in its 16th year.

“This event, since its inception, has always been a very calm and friendly sort of event, very welcoming,” Cocke said. “This is an aberration.”

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

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