Police officers fatally shot a man who had a machete with him Wednesday morning inside the University of Colorado's Folsom Field Champions Center, which houses the football team’s offices, locker rooms and a sports medicine and performance center.
The man allegedly made harassing and threatening statements to a patient outside the center, and he followed the patient to the second floor, according to a report by the Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera. A 911 call was received at around 9:15 a.m.
Once police arrived, the man did not put down the machete, as he was ordered to do. A Boulder officer and a University of Colorado officer fired shots at the man at around 9:28 a.m. in a stairwell inside the center, according to the report. No officers or anybody else at the center were injured. The officers have both been placed on administrative leave.
A number of calls were made later in the day to police dispatch regarding unconfirmed reports of an active threat at three separate locations, two off campus and one in the University Memorial Center. Those were determined to be false reports.
“I know there were concerns by some that the campus was not closed,” University of Colorado chancellor Philip DiStefano said in a statement Wednesday. “We determined that the actual threat that occurred this morning was quickly contained and brought under control by the police. Other activities were quickly determined to be false reports and that there was no active threat to the community.
“I know this was confusing and alarming for people in these locations, and we support anyone who decided they needed to leave,” DiStefano added. “However, we did not feel a complete campus closure was necessary and could have created additional confusion. We are all breathing easier knowing our students, faculty, staff and campus visitors are safe — and our thoughts and prayers are with all affected by today’s violence.”
Colorado head football coach Mike MacIntyre was conducting a phone interview on “The Jim Rome Show” while still on lockdown Wednesday morning. The football team was at practice that morning when the incident occurred.
“Our protocol and everything worked exactly like it should, and all of our athletes, all of our employees and everybody is safe,” MacIntyre said. “It was really a scary situation, no doubt.
“They called down and said we couldn’t leave practice, just to keep going,” MacIntyre added. “We saw these ambulances and sirens going by and my first reaction and everything was I hope everyone is safe in our building. Because we still had employees in our building, especially our football employees there that are working on recruiting and all the different aspects and video, but all of them were okay, so I was just very concerned, and to make sure everybody was safe and okay, and everybody is, so that’s very good.”
The Champions Center is part of the university’s $166 million, 212,000-square-foot expansion to Folsom Field. It includes the Colorado football and athletic department’s administrative offices, as well as the CU Sports Medicine and Performance Center that is open to the public for those seeking treatment for injuries related to sports, fitness and activities.
The building also houses the sports medicine department for CU athletes, a weight room, the football team’s locker room and team lounge, the football equipment room, dining facilities, conference rooms and a rooftop terrace for gameday and special events.
Ground was broken on the project in May 2014 and was ready in time for the 2015 season.