, Salem, MA

Local News

September 26, 2013

Suspect in stabbing at Salem State University arrested

SSU spokesperson: Wells is in custody in New York


“We turned the lights off and huddled next to the wall furthest from the windows,” Harlov said. “... People were on their phones. It was really quiet in the room; no one was really talking.”

Students took the lockdown seriously, Harlov said, but were a little impatient by the end.

Students used their laptops and cellphones to keep informed; Harlov said he received three voice mails from campus security in the span of an hour during the lockdown.

SSU sophomore Jess Baumann said she was in Marsh Hall when the building’s alarm went off and she received a phone alert about the lockdown.

“I just woke up from a nap, and all of the sudden, there was beeping and people running around crazy,” Baumann said.

Instead of making her 1:30 p.m. science lab, Baumann spent the early part of the afternoon with her friend SSU sophomore Shannon O’Connor, watching news coverage of the event and looking out at the area where it had just happened.

“We just kind of sat at the window and watched for a couple hours,” O’Connor said, adding that the lockdown was lifted in time for her English class, but that it had already been cancelled.

Aside from watching news and trying to get a glimpse of the action, students said they found a variety of distractions to stem off the boredom — surfing the Internet and watching television foremost among them.

“We just sat and watched a movie,” said Lindsay Lapan, an SSU sophomore who was trapped inside Bowditch Hall during the lockdown. She and her friends watched “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”

Visiting scholar Jonathan Li, from southeastern China, said dealing with the lockdown was more about finding a way to kill the time, as opposed to actually being afraid.

He said his native country has seen its share of school-related stabbing sprees, but that the incident at the university — where he’d just begun a yearlong program this month — seemed comparatively minor, as the bus driver had been able to get himself out of the bus of his own accord.

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