Update on Tuesday’s Armed Robbery

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On the night of Tuesday, March 6, around 8:05, two Gardner-Webb undergraduate students were robbed at gunpoint in their residence hall. We are unsure how the suspects gained access to the residence hall, but further investigation has revealed that a door may have been propped open with a brick. Once inside, they entered the students’ room, stole a variety of valuable items, and threatened their lives.  The suspects were identified as two black males in their late teens or early twenties, approximately 6’ 2” tall, wearing dark jeans and fluffy black jackets, and one of them wore a goatee.

We are thrilled and relieved to report that no one was hurt, and we are very proud of the victims for maintaining poise and composure during such an excruciating situation.  Because of their prompt notification of University Police, students across campus were alerted of the security threat via text message and internet notifications, encouraging them to remain in secure locations and maintain vigilance until the alert state was lifted at 9:35 p.m.  GWU University Police called the Boiling Springs Police Department and the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office to assist in the investigation, and extra patrols were assigned to the campus throughout the night.  The suspects have not been apprehended, but an investigation is ongoing.

Latest update (3/8): The suspects were last seen entering a mid-sized, dark colored sedan in the parking lot behind Lutz and Mauney residence halls, and driving away toward the Football Center.

Several University officials, including President Frank Bonner, returned to campus during the alert to assist in the investigation, even remaining for hours afterward to communicate with and reassure the students.  While we are fortunate to enjoy a tight-knit and relatively safe community, incidents like this remind us that even at Gardner-Webb, we are not immune to the threat of crime.  We will continue our efforts to ensure that Gardner-Webb is a safer University as a result of this frightening incident.  Protecting our students’ safety, and reestablishing their sense of security, is our highest priority.

President Bonner has urged students and staff to alert University officials immediately upon discovering that any secure doors or door alarms on campus are damaged.  Doors that lock automatically, whether in the residence halls or academic and administrative buildings, should never be propped open for any reason.

For Student Development or Residence Education inquiries, call 704-406-4373.  For media inquiries, call 704-406-4631.

If you have any information that might aid in this investigation or lead to the apprehension of the suspects, please contact University Police at 704-406-4444.

Last Updated: Thursday, March 8 at 11:30 a.m.