ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. (August 29, 2007) - At approximately 1 p.m. today, St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM) observed a campus-wide "shelter in place" procedure to ensure the safety of the community after the Public Safety Office was informed by Maryland State Police that an alleged armed robbery had occurred near Trinity Church. The church is adjacent to the College.
The alleged victim of the robbery was a man with no connection to the college and was visiting Trinity Church. According to the 48-year-old male victim, he was walking on a footpath when he was confronted by another man. The victim described the suspect as an hispanic male, approximately 5'11", wearing dark colored pants, gray shirt and dark colored hat. The suspect allegedly displayed a handgun and demanded the victim's money. The victim complied and the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of currency. There were no injuries.
Immediately after the State Police called the College, "shelter in place" instructions went out asking everyone to stay indoors. All campus doors were electronically locked and only students and faculty with electronic key cards were able to open them.
Campus safety officers made loudspeaker announcements using car-mounted public address speakers. Phone calls were made to all college departments and building contacts to make sure that everyone in each building was alerted. Campus-wide voice mail calls and all student/faculty/staff e-mails were sent. An emergency alert was posted to the webpage and updated.
Students, faculty and staff reacted calmly and stayed inside, say college officials. The "shelter in place" status was lifted at 2:53 p.m. after the State Police advised the campus that the suspect was not in the immediate vicinity. Classes resumed as scheduled.
Police say the suspect was believed to have fled the area in a small red vehicle. St. Mary's County Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) detectives responding to the scene located two suspects in a vehicle traveling on Route 4 in California, Md. and have detained them.